::Literate Blather::
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Poem: Maybe Tomorrow

I’m going to kill myself

On Saturday.

I’ll have courage


I’m too busy


Assignments at work,

reruns to watch

On TV.


I should mow the lawn,

redeem a coupon,

return a DVD.

On Saturday,

I’ll have courage,

and more


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Sunday, May 28, 2006
Under God's Right Arm: Curious George and the Descent into Evil

The DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW is pleased to announce a new regularly occurring opinion column called Under God’s Right Arm by the Rev. Colson Crosslick. Mr. Crosslick, a graduate of Bob Jones University, a profuse letter writer to TownHall.com, and pastor of the Pretty Good Shepherd Ministries in Ripsaw, Arkansas, will explore the pressing issues of our day.

What could be a better gift to a Christian child than the highly acclaimed Curious George series by H.A. Rey? Aren’t these books simply about the light-hearted adventures of an inquisitive primate exploring the world around him – one giggle-filled scrape after another? Not on closer inspection. The late Mr. Rey and his publisher, Houghton Mifflin (which has published the works of anti-American authors like James Carroll), would have parents believe that George is an endearing symbol of childhood innocence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Curious George books are filled with corruption, criminal behavior, and a callous disregard for the consequences of wrongdoing. The seven original books in the series feature drinking to excess, smoking tobacco, wanton vandalism, theft and robbery, kidnapping, bribery, animal brutality, slave labor, and a single man living with a monkey. Is it really any coincidence that the first generation of children exposed to Curious George in the 1940s became the Beat Generation – giving us subversive, drug-addled troublemakers like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burrough?

The Origins of Corruption: The First Book

Most parents have no idea that H.A. Rey and his wife, Margret, were born in what was to become Nazi Germany. One wonders why Mr. Rey used his initials instead of his real name of Hans Augusto. Was it to hide his ethnic identity? Another little publicized fact about the Reys: they left Germany for Rio de Janeiro – a notorious hide-out for Nazi war criminals! Houghton Mifflin would have parents believe that the Reys were Jewish and escaped Nazi Germany on hand-made bicycles, but we all know that giant publishing houses cannot be trusted.

Mr. Rey published the first book Curious George in 1941 – while the United States was distracted by World War II. Disguised as an adventurous romp, this first volume is a cesspool of anti-Christian corruption. The ominous character of the “Man with the Yellow Hat” makes his first appearance here. The Man with the Yellow Hat (the Man, for short) looms over all of the Curious George stories – a smiling, omnipresent enabler of sleaze. The Man (always clad in lemon-yellow clothes, often appears to be wearing make-up, and bears a striking resemblance to a thin Nathan Lane) pulls the strings behind George’s transgressions.

(Side note: Mr. Rey dresses the man in yellow for symbolic reasons. Anyone who has seen a traffic light knows that yellow means “Caution.” But did you also know that yellow is very close to white on the color chart and that white is the color of death in many alien cultures? So, in fact, Rey has given us a symbol of the Man – “Caution Death!”)

The first book starts in Africa where young George is frolicking in a palm tree eating a banana. He retains his fragile innocence here – at peace with nature and God. Then along comes the rifle-toting Man with the Yellow Hat who invades George’s pastoral paradise and kidnaps him by stuffing him in a burlap sack. The Man plans to sell George into slavery at a zoo and his descent into evil has begun.

Despondent at his fate, George tries to commit suicide by throwing himself off the ship railing into the cold ocean below. He is, of course, saved by pirates the Man has hired for his kidnapping expedition and the rest, as they say, is history. Once in America, George gorges himself on food, alcohol, and smoking tobacco. Has the Man no shame? The only thing missing are supple, young male prostitutes with nipple rings and narcotics (don’t worry, the drugs come later).

The rest of the volume is an orgy of decadence. False alarms called to the Fire Department, a jail break (if only our criminal justice system had been given more of an opportunity to work its rehabilitation magic on George!), the robbery of a balloon man, and finally bribery. George ends up sold to the zoo.

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Teaching Children to Sin

George’s life of sin is cataloged in six other volumes – but the three greatest offenders are Curious George Takes a Job, Curious George Rides a Bike, and Curious George Gets a Medal. Here are most glaring criminal and immoral activities from this trio of alleged “children’s” books.

Curious George Takes a Job: Features George breaking out of the zoo, stealing from an Italian chef, and overdosing on a bottle of ether. George also takes a job washing windows and enjoys being a peeping Tom and vandalizing an old woman’s apartment. Enter Nathan Lane’s doppelganger – O ye Evil Man in Yellow! – who signs a monetary pact with Hollywood to film George’s life story (God knows what kind of filth was produced!).

Curious George Rides a Bike: Features George and the Man living together in a twisted bestiality relationship that should make most Christians shudder with revulsion (at one point they even hug – this could have been Ang Lee’s inspiration for Brokeback Mountain!). George dupes a paperboy, destroys property, and tries to murder an ostrich (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Pat Robertson). George ends up performing for an animal circus wearing a green costume without pants!

Curious George Gets a Medal: This may be the most despicable book in the lot! George destroys Mr. Caution Death’s house with water (a reference most likely to the Old Testament). In a feigned attempt to alleviate the flood, George steals a pump from a pair of farmers (who look like Chuck Colson and Phyllis Schlafly if she were a man). George ends up vandalizing a museum and then is strong-armed into being the first monkey into space.

It’s time for Christians in the United States to admit to the ungodly influence of Corruption George. Behavior problems and youth crimes have been mounting since these books were published. The evidence is overwhelming. I’m calling for an all-out Christian boycott of Curious George. It’s time to send a message that our children are our most valuable assets and turn off the spigot of corruption that is H.A. Rey’s Curious George.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006
Poem: A Businessman on an Airplane

The girl I loved first had
yellow hair, a funny nose, and
unbridled optimism.
She danced to the Doors, and
her father once
caught me with my hands
under her shirt,
Saturday Night Live on his TV.

I made her cry when
college came.

The second girl I kissed
at a bonfire,
fireworks filling the night.
Her eyes.
My temper and tequila
and frat parties
killed what we had

She left my heart in a ditch,
wanting to die.

The third one almost
got away
with my brother’s best friend.
But I fought.
When her lips touched mine,
my heart healed.
I married her by the ocean,
in a cold drizzle.

When we quarrel,
I wish for the other two.

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Essay: Brandeis Meets MySpace

"Privacy is the right to be alone – the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized man.”

Louis D. Brandeis meet MySpace and the downfall of civilization.

Brandeis, the famed privacy advocate, would be mortified to know that his life – both the good and the bad – is easily accessible to anyone with a Web browser. The good – he was one of the most celebrated U.S. Supreme Court justices; and the bad – he was a skinflint.

Brandeis and his supporters were concerned about intrusive government policies. In the 1928 U.S. Supreme Court case Olmstead v. United States, the court examined the use of wiretaps on telephones by federal agents without judicial approval and whether the practice violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Sound familiar?

The court cast its lot with the government 5-4 in Olmstead (the decision was reversed in 1967). However, Brandeis wrote an eloquent and provocative minority opinion where he argued that there was no difference between a private telephone call and a sealed letter. He wrote, “If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means—to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal—would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.”

Powerful thinking. It is fair to conclude that Brandeis would have had a brain hemorrhage at the Bush administration’s behavior in directing the NSA to comb through millions of telephone records of U.S. citizens in a vain attempt to find connections to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

But what would have really shocked Brandeis is not the predictable overstepping of government, but our alleged freedom-loving society's voluntary undermining of our own privacy. Why worry about the federal government monitoring our telephone calls when we allow Google to “read” our email so it can better target us with advertisements? Sixty-five million people have created Web sites on MySpace sharing the most intimate details of their lives – complete with soundtracks and risqué photographs.

(Meet Kate. She’s a 22-year-old from Warwick, Rhode Island, who says her dad is her hero. She loves Dave Barry, Green Day, American Idol and strolling through Boston holding hands. Since she’s bisexual – that hand holding partner could be anyone. “Being in love with your best friend is just the ultimate thing,” she gushes on her MySpace site, where she’s posed in a bikini top.)

The list of how millions of us freely throw away our privacy rights continues to grow:
  • Thousands of bloggers use the format as a public diary. They record the tedious details of their lives for public consumption. We can marvel at the new mom who catalogs her babies every bowel movement or the boastful college student who records every sexual rendezvous. Many people have forgotten the virtue of discretion and there is mounting ancedotal evidence that employers are cracking down on those bloggers who cross the line.
  • TiVo, the TV recording service company, gathers enough information from their subscribers to track their home viewing habits even though the company promises not to, according to a study by the Privacy Foundation and University of Denver Privacy Center. The four-month investigation also found that TiVo could identify the personal viewing habits of its subscribers at will. Yet this hasn't stopped thousands of people from signing up for the service.
  • Google admits that it searches for keywords in its Gmail offering in order to serve up targeted advertising and marketing to its subscribers. That means the company reads subscriber email by looking for specific content. The potential for abuse here is staggering. Even more alarming -- Google has acknowledged that it holds onto subscribers' deleted emails -- indefinitely.
  • The popularity of reality shows like Survivor and Fear Factor continue to baffle those who treasure privacy. Yet almost nightly, television channels are clogged with the exploits of every day people willing to showcase the intimate details of their lives in the most humilating ways. Having child-raising problems? Hire a nanny with a TV camera. Need some money? Eat a bucket of slugs for a chance to win cash prizes.

Privacy, like its cousin modesty, is difficult to regain once lost. There's an entire generation of Americans who not only don't understand the virtue of privacy -- but also its importance and relevance to a strong democratic society. If people are willing to voluntarily sacrifrice freedom for the convenience of TiVo and Gmail or the illusion of intimacy promised by MySpace or a personal blog, then its no wonder the federal government believes it has the right to monitor the telephone calls of its citizens.

Brandeis had it right way back in 1928. It's time Americans listened to the skinflint.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Literary Sketch: James Joyce's "Counterparts"

Summary: Farrington, a mid-level bureaucrat at a Dublin law office, is berated by his mousy boss when he fails to complete an assignment on deadline. Farrington, a heavy-set, plodding man with few prospects and no ambitions, spends his days darting out to the pub around the corner for quick draughts of porter. After a particularly nasty row with his boss, Farrington heads out for a night of drinking at his favorites taverns. Penniless until payday, Farrington pawns his watch for drinking money. The night passes in a drunken blur as Farrington is humiliated after flirting with a London woman and then by a smaller man who beats him in an arm wrestling match. That night, his rage fueled by drink, Farrington returns home to wife and five children. He teaches his youngest boy a lesson by beating him with a walking stick as the boy prays for his soul.

In his 1916 book of fifteen short stories called Dubliners, James Joyce paints a gloomy portrait of Ireland’s capital and of an Irish culture strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, England’s occupation, and by a population preoccupied with drink. One of the stand-outs in this collection is “Counterparts.” The story is a master work showcasing the never-ending cycle of family violence. The rage in the story is evident from the first sentence, which uses the adjective “furious” twice – once to describe a bell and the second time a voice.

The reader is introduced to Farrington, a red-faced gigantic man who Joyce constantly portrays as heavy, plodding, drooping, and ruddy. “When he stood up he was tall and of great bulk. He had a hanging face, dark wine-coloured, with fair eyebrows and moustache: his eyes bulged forward slightly and the whites of them were dirty.”

We meet Farrington just as his boss at a law firm launches into a verbal tirade against him. Mr. Alleyne, a little, bald man with an English last name (Farrington’s foils in the story all carry English surnames), lashes out at Farrington with all the cruelty of a petty tyrant. Part of Alleyne’s verbal assault consists of mimicking Farrington’s replies. This is important because at the end of the story, just before Farrington his attacks his son with a walking stick, he verbal abuses his son in the same way.

At the end of the scene, the reader is left feeling sympathy for poor Farrington, even as we catch a glimpse of his unfocused rage. Joyce excels here at building up the reader’s empathy for Farrington as he begins to drop clues in the narrative that Farrington might not be worthy of such compassion.

A feeling of desperation clings to poor Farrington as he realizes he neither has the time or the inclination to finish his work assignment for Alleyne. His anger builds and he begins to imagine ways in which to lash out – but settles on daydreaming about drinking at the pubs with his friend later in the evening. The day ends with another verbal assault by Alleyne, this time in front of a woman client. Farrington, befuddled and embarrassed, manages an accidental quip that sends Alleyne into a fury that jeopardizes Farrington’s job.

In the end, Farrington apologizes to his boss and realizes his work life will now be “a hornet’s nest.” He feels, “savage, thirsty and revengeful, annoyed with himself and with everyone else.” Unable to corner the firm cashier for an advance in wages, Farrington pawns his watch for drinking money. With six shillings in his pocket, Farrington’s mood lightens.

The middle part of the story takes place at various Dublin pubs as Farrington joins his companions for a night of carousing. It is here that the reader begins to have deeper doubts about Farrington’s character. He embellishes his argument with his boss to make it seem as if he gave Alleyne a good comeuppance.

Farrington is a desperate man – desperate for approval, desperate for attention, fearful that the night will finally end. Farrington uses his new-found money to buy round after round until – drunk – he begins to resent his friends as sponges (ironic because before pawning his watch, Farrington plotted on how to beg and borrow from his drinking companions). Two events cap the evening – Farrington’s shameless flirting with an English woman and his loss of an arm wrestling match against a much smaller man (also an Englishman).

On page 9, the reader is introduced to some stunning information. Farrington – a man we imagined as a lonely bachelor – is married. His previous behavior, although often boorish could be explained away by his rough behavior at work. Now Farrington’s anger and his selfish behavior are seen in a new, disturbing light. The pity we once had for this man suddenly seems wasted on him.

The last part of the story we find: “A very sullen-faced man stood at the corner of O’Connell Bridge waiting for the little Sandymount tram to take him home. He was full of smouldering anger and revengefulness. He felt humiliated and discontented; he did not even feel drunk; and he had only twopence in his pocket. He cursed everything.”

Farrington arrives home and we discover not only a wife at home, but five children. A boy, Tom (who Farrington at first calls Charlie) greets his drunk and seething father at the door while the rest of the brood sleeps. Joyce strikes a staggering blow against the Roman Catholic Church. Farrington’s wife, Ada, is at church – safe in the sanctuary of her religion while her children sleep alone and unprotected from their violent father. It is a mistake that will cost poor Tom. “The little boy cried O, pa! and ran whimpering round the table, but the man followed him and caught him by the coat. The little boy looked about him wildly but, seeing no way of escape, fell upon his knees.”

We now recognize Farrington for what he is: a bitter drunk who beats his wife and children. The story ends with Tom pleading for his father not to beat him and vowing to say a Hail Mary for him – another slap at the church. The prayers do nothing to alleviate the pain and anguish leveled against the defenseless boy.

But upon further reflection we realize that Farrington does merit our sympathy – for was he not at one time Tom? And will not poor, young Tom one day be the big, raging Farrington? Joyce has taken us full circle, which is surely why this stunningly emotional short story was called “Counterpart” in the first place.

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Monday, May 22, 2006
Essay: Fiction and the Catholic Church

I held out for as long as I could. But I finally read The Da Vinci Code, mostly on a beach. The book still smells like coconut suntan lotion and there are oily stains on many of the pages, which I believe were the direct result of eating an entire bag of Cape Cod potato chips sometime during the middle of the novel. But that’s the type of book Dan Brown wrote – a page-turner you can read on beach between dips in the ocean and naps on a blanket. A book where you don’t really mind getting food stains on.

Steinbeck and Faulkner have little to fear. The Da Vinci Code isn’t about to replace The Sound and the Fury (#6) or The Grapes of Wrath (#10) from the Modern Library’s List of 100 Best Novels. The Da Vinci Code is a plot-driven thriller with conventional twists and turns – with some high-minded lectures on art history, architecture, and religion thrown in. Some of the lectures were quite enjoyable and had me reaching for my art history encyclopedia. But the characters were wooden, underdeveloped, and strictly included to drive the action. I enjoyed it, but in the end I prefer my thrillers more hardboiled (hello, Michael Connelly and Robert Crais). I read Brown and moved on to the next book on my stack.

Until, that is, the Roman Catholics and the Christian fundamentalists got their panties in a bunch. I remember strolling through a book store in Kendall Square in Cambridge and coming across The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code: A Challenging Response to the Bestselling Novel by Richard Abanes. (Abanes is a devout Christian who has also inked a book questioning the morality in Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter novels, and the Chronicles of Narnia – you get the picture).

I remember thinking: “But the book is a novel.” Fiction. Which the literate way publishers, writers, librarians, and academics say: make-believe. Can someone please alert Abanes and the dozens of other “authors” with books debunking the Brown’s novel that it actually features an albino assassin? Could we not have aimed our energies at debunking Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven? (I would have paid for that.)

With the movie adaptation recently released we have gems like this one from the Washington Post: " 'The Da Vinci Code' gratuitously insults Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church," said Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Birmingham, England. "It deliberately presents fiction as fact."

Read that last sentence again: “It deliberately presents fiction as fact.” I suppose one could make the same argument about the Bible, but I also know you can make that argument about every single novel ever written. Nichols also claims Brown’s book is an insult to Jesus. Isn’t this the same Catholic church that deliberately covered up and is now being forced to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to the victims of an epidemic of pedophilia among the clergy? One wonders if Nichols thinks that’s an insult to Jesus. Maybe he should spend less time reading mystery novels and more time reviewing the Ten Commandments.

Here’s another quote from the same Post article: “In France, Monsignor Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri, bishop of the Hautes-Alpes region, said he saw the film Friday and found it a "grotesque" portrayal of history and Christian belief.” Does anyone really get their history from novels? Would any serious historian turn to Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels as a go-to reference on Civil War history? One can argue that a novel can put history in context – breath some life into it, but not many people would claim a novel can or should replace a history book.

It’s unfortunate that the wealthiest, most powerful church in the world feels threatened by the equivalent of a dime-store paperback. The church should focus on more important things: like feeding the poor, paying off child abuse victims, and filling out the paperwork on Mel Gibson's sainthood. What’s next, the pope declaring Dan Brown an infidel and putting a price on his head? If so, I suggest Brown contact Salman Rushdie for his list of suitable hiding spots.

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DaRK PaRTY Literary Resource Page
DaRK PaRTY Literary Resource Page

We love books and literature, so we write a lot about it. We've created this resource page to allow for easy access to all the writers, books, and short stories that have appeared on the pages of DaRK PaRTY. The Literary Resource Page is divided into alphabetical order by author's last name. Thus, if you're searching for Ernest Hemingway -- look under "Hemingway, Ernest."

The Literary Resources Page includes links to critical analysis of books and writers, essays on the writers or literary topics, interviews about famous writers, and interviews with authors. If you have any questions about the material please write us at DarkPartyReview(AT)gmail(DOT)com or leave us a comment.

Almond, Steve

Author Interview

Asimov, Isaac

Literary Criticism: The Man Who Never Told a Lie

Austen, Jane

5 Questions About: Jane Austen

Bauerlein, Mark

Author Interview
Book Short: The Dumbest Generation

Benedek, E.A.

Book Review: Red Sea

Bierce, Ambrose

Literary Criticism: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
5 Questions About: Ambrose Bierce
Two Poems: Nightmare and Detected

Brown, Margaret Wise

Essay: Hello, Miss Brown, Goodnight Moon
Essay: Children's Books that Won't Drive Parents Insane

Bruen, Ken

Author Interview

Bukowski, Charles

Essay: Learning to Love Bukowski
Interview with Linda King, Bukowski ex-girlfriend
5 Questions About: Charles Bukowski
Essay: 5 Writers Every Man Should Read
Poem About Bukowski

Burroughs, Edgar Rice

Essay: Ode to John Carter of Mars

Carver, Raymond

Literary Criticism: They're Not Your Husband

Essay: 5 Writers Every Man Should Read

Cheknov, Anton

Literary Criticism: A Dead Body

Clark, Susanna

Book Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Connell, Richard

Literary Criticism: The Most Dangerous Game

Cormier, Robert

Essay: Robert Cormier and the Radicalization of Young Adult Fiction

Crane, Stephen

Literary Criticism: The Upturned Face

Dahl, RoaldLink Literary Criticism: Lamb to the Slaughter

de Maupassants, Guy

Literary Criticism: The Vendetta

Dickens, Charles

Essay: 5 Kooky, Wonderful Facts About Dickens
5 Questions About: Charles Dickens
Essay: The Most Memorial Supporting Characters in Dickens
Essay: Reading Dickens

Doyle, Arthur Conan

5 Questions About: Sherlock Holmes

Ellis, Bret Easton

Essay: Less Than Good

Faulbert, Gustave

Book Short: Madam Bovary

Faulkner, William

5 Questions About: William Faulkner

Book Short: As I Lay Dying

Fitzgerald, F. Scott

Literary Criticism: The Lost Decade

Frost, Polly

Author Interview

Fleming, Ian

Book Short: Moonraker
5 Questions About: James Bond

Gaiman, Neil

Book Review: American Gods

Gorman, Ed

Author Interview

Gryphon, A.W.
Author Interview

Harrison, Kim

Author Interview

Hemingway, Ernest

Literary Criticism: Indian Camp
Literary Criticism: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
5 Questions About: Hemingway

Irving, Washington

Literary Criticism: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Jackson, Shirley

Literary Criticism: The Lottery

Joyce, James

Literary Criticism: Counterparts

Kerouac, Jack

Essay: On the Road Turns 50

Jacobs, W.W.

Essay: The World's Scariest Short Story? (The Monkey's Paw)

King, Stephen

Literary Criticism: Quitters, Inc.
Essay: 5 Scariest Stephen King Novels
Essay: A King Thing

Lardner, Ring

Literary Criticism: Haircut

Lott, Malena

Author Interview

Marques, Gabriel Garcia

Literary Criticism: One of These Days

Mailer, Norman

Essay: Farewell, Lord Mailer

Matheson, Richard

Literary Criticism: I am Legend
Book Review: The Incredible Shrinking Man

McCarthy, Cormac

Essay: Our Sort-of-Kind-of Apology to Cormac McCarthy
Book Short: The Road

Melville, Herman

Reading Moby Dick - Part 1
Reading Moby Dick - Part 2
Reading Moby Dick - Part 3
Reading Moby Dick - Part 4
Reading Moby Dick - Part 5

Parker, Dorothy

5 Questions About: Dorothy Parker

Parker, Robert B.

7 Toughest Detectives: Spenser
Essay: Robert B. Parker Should Kill Spenser

Poe, Edgar Allan

Literary Criticism: The Masque of the Red Death
Essay: The Mad and Bad Writings of a Genius

Pollan, Michael

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

Proulx, Annie E.

Literary Criticism: Heart Songs

Remarque, Erich Maria

Book Short: All Quiet on the Western Front

Rowling, J.K.

Essay: Banning Harry Potter

Salvatore, R.A.

Author Interview

Shakespeare, William

Essay: A Selection of Shakespearean Insults
5 Questions About: Shakespeare
Essay: Reflecting on Death and Shakespeare

Smith, Michael Marshall

Author Interview
Book Short: The Straw Men

Spiegelman, Art

Essay: Maus Revisited

Stevenson, Robert Louis

Literary Criticism: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Book Short: Treasure Island

Stockton, Frank

Literary Criticism: The Lady, or the Tiger

Swierczynski, Duane

Author Interview
Book Short: Severance Package

Theroux, Paul

Literary Criticism: World's End

Tinti, Hannah

Author Interview

Vonnegut, Kurt

Literary Criticism: Welcome to the Monkey House
Book Short: A Man Without A Country

Wellington, David

Author Interview
Book Short: 99 Coffins

Wharton, Edith

Literary Criticism: A Journey
Book Short: The Age of Innocence

Wolff, Tobias

Literary Criticism: Casualty
Essay: 5 Writers Every Man Should Read

Zeltserman, Dave

Book Review: Small Crimes

On Literature:

Writer Interviews: Remarkable Literary Characters
Great Openings of 12 Classic Novels
A Menu of Tasty Books
Essay: Fixing Our Reading Problem
Essay: Banning Harry Potter
Unusual Literary Deaths
So You Want to be a Private Eye
Essay: Children's Books that Won't Drive Parents Insane
Writer Interviews: Great Books Part 1
Writer Interviews: Great Books Part 2

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
About DaRK PaRTY

Welcome to DaRK PaRTY.

We're a (semi)-literate online magazine focused on literature, movies and music (with some poetry and fiction tossed in). We have a simple manifesto: "Literate Blather."

Publishers & Writers

We review books: fiction and non-fiction. We enjoy literary and crime fiction, but also occasionally review non-fiction. Please email at darkpartyreview[AT]gmail[DOT]com for details and for our mailing address on where to send review copies. We regret at this time that we can no longer accept vanity or self-published books.

We also interview authors. Recent interviews have included Kim Harrison, Ken Bruen, Hannah Tinti, Steve Almond, Ed Gorman, and Michael Marshall Smith among many others.

Movie Producers & Distributors

We also review and compile best of list on DVDs. You can also email us at darkpartyreview[AT]gmail[DOT]com for details.

Regular Features

We feature all kinds of nonsense, but we do have a several ongoing features:

Cracked-Back Book Reviews: Quick reviews on the books we're reading in any given month. We grade them from A to F.

Fantastically Bad Cinema: Our scathing reviews of really terrible movies (and some so bad that they're actually good -- like a car wreck you can't take your eyes off of -- like "Cocktail.")

Ode To: Our reviews of films that have made a cultural impact or that we just deem really cool.

5 Questions About: Interviews with authors, academics, musicians, artists, historians, and interesting people. Topics have included: ants, the Great War, candy, Shakespeare, Pilgrims, and Friday the 13th.

Book Reviews: Umm, you know, reviews of books. And, yes, we enjoy reviewing new authors and books from independent publishers. We also review graphic novels and non-fiction.

Literary Criticism: Analysis of our favorite short stories. Writers we've reviewed include Hemingway, Edith Wharton, Edgar Allen Poe, and Tobias Wolff.

Essays: Opinion pieces on cultural and society -- from why you should mow your own lawn to why workers need a bill of rights.

We also do our famous best of lists on books, film, and music. Everything from "Hollywood's Most Awkward Nude Scenes" to the "Overlooked Albums By Great Bands."

We aim for honesty (well, kind of). Our hope is that DaRK PaRTY will annoy you, make you laugh, make you think, and make you fire back a snarky comment or two. We welcome suggestions and contributions. Please write us at:


Who is behind this abomination?

GFS3 -- Editor and Publisher. GFS3 is a former journalist turned consultant. He fancies himself a writer and a reader -- although there are serious questions about his ability to proofread. He's been called obnoxious by many, but insists that he's simply misunderstood. GFS3 is a die-hard Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. He also prides himself on reading about 50 books a year.

Viking -- Chief Technology Officer. Viking is, unfortunately, the brother of GFS3. He's the brains behind the operations (basically there to turn on and off GFS3's computer). Viking works for one of the largest software companies in the world. When he's not saving the world from bad code, he's down in his workshop making sawdust.

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