Book Book Book Book

Commentary Commentary RSS Reviews Podcasts_Audio Podcasts RSS Blog Links Archives Indexes

NEW!!! The Literature of Fear at

Better than Blockbusters at
Leave a Comment at KQED to help suport this site!

11-19-14 : David Greene Catches 'Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia'

The Character(s) of a Country

David Greene's 'Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia' is a subtle triumph of showing, not telling, on two levels. The characters he crafts in his engaging and entertaining travelogue arrive early and often.

We're right there with him, from page to person without a hint of his writerly skills. He simply puts us in his shoes and theirs with fewest, smartest, craftiest words he can find. And what a cast! This is people watching at its finest.

Recent Commentary
Azar Nafisi Resides In 'The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books' : Choose Your World
Cary Elwes Delivers 'As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride' : Re-Reading and Re-Viewing
Dana Cowin 'Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen' : Learning to Cook — and Live
Commentary Archive
The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books
Azar Nafisi
Intense and ccompell;ing look at reading, re-reading and real people.

Reviewed by
Rick Kleffel

Review Archive
As You Wish
Cary Elwes
Reviewed by
Rick Kleffel
Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen
Dana Cowin
Reviewed by
Rick Kleffel
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
A. S. King
Reviewed by
Rick Kleffel

What is The Agony Column?

"He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. "Dear me!" said he, turning over the pages, "what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! But surely the most valuable hunting-ground that ever was given to a student of the unusual!"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Red Circle

NEW! 11-16-14: Time to Read Episode 183: Azar Nafisi: The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books

11-17-14: A 2014 Interview with Azar Nafisi

"I wanted to show how close reality and fiction are..." —Azar Nafisi

You won't be able to tell from this interview, but Azar Nafisi was losing her voice when she arrived to speak with me about her new book, 'The Republic of Imagination.' I met her at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz, where she was going to be speaking later in the evening for Bookshop Santa Cruz.
11-19-14: A 2014 Interview with David Greene

"It was very easy to literally just tell their stories..." —David Greene

David Greene is as genial over the ISDN line as he sounds on NPR. He was on an assembly line schedule to discuss his book 'Midnight in Siberia.' I imagine a book tour condensed into a series of ten-minute conversations and my admiration for the man who sat through the permutations of questions with such a generous tone knows no bounds.
Recent & Newest Podcasts
A 2014 Interview with Cary Elwes : " unwise decision on my part...""
A 2014 Interview with Dana Cowin : " I add a little more citrus..."
A 2014 Interview with Paolo Bacigalupi and A. S. King : "That gray area is so important for readers.."—A. S. King ; "You're handing us all the problems..." —Paolo Bacigalupi
Podcast Archive
The Agony Column Literary Magazine for November 23, 2014, 6-7 PM PDT

You can help support KUSP and The Agony Column. Follow this link! What do you want to hear? Email me!
Archives Indexes How to use the Agony Column Contact Us About Us