Christopher Vola is a contributing writer for the Rail.
MAR 2011 | Books
Wesley Staces Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer is an intricate, unabashedly literary and clever musical thriller. Staces third novel painstakingly examines the strange and turbulent bond between a composer and a critic in early 20th century England.
FEB 2010 | Books
Growing up sucks. From the appearance of zits and getting grounded to disastrous encounters and embarrassing put-downs by an unattainable crush, being a teenager can be rough. But what if it was worse?
DEC 10-JAN 11 | Books
David Bajos Panopticon is an ethereal, well-crafted, and quietly disturbing novel, a book that slices creepily through its characters pasts to uncover aspects of a technologically warped present that are equally riveting and unnerving because of their pervasiveness.
DEC 09-JAN 10 | Books
It was a cold, foggy New England night in June 1979. 32-year-old journalist Robert Sabbag, whose debut Snowblind had recently earned him a spot on the New York Times bestseller list and permanent cult status as a preeminent chronicler of counterculture lore, was en route from LaGuardia to Cape Cod in a 19-passenger twin-engine jet. He never made it.
DEC 11-JAN 12 | Books
The unnamed protagonist of J. A. Tylers A Shiny, Unused Heart reaches the endpoint of his chosen demise in the novellas opening sentence: Everything had gone to burning, blood-colored skies, and he leapt or jumped, danced or waltzed, carried himself off the building ledge, eighty-seven stories up.
MAR 2010 | Books
At age 95, Martin Gardner has written about pretty much everything. Known primarily for his thousands of columns in Scientific American that focused on recreational mathematics, the Tulsa, Oklahoma natives more than 70 published works reflect an immense array of interestspseudoscientific skepticism, childrens literature, obscure and forgotten poetry, philosophy, politics, and religion, to name just a few.
DEC 09-JAN 10 | Books
Did you know that Hunter Thompson was talking to his wife on the phone when he blew his brains across the room? That youre much more likely to kill yourself on a Monday than a Saturday? That before he intentionally overdosed on morphine, Sigmund Freuds cancer-infested mouth emanated a gangrenous odor so foul even his dog wouldnt go near him?