The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World: The Best of the Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities, Vol. II
by Lolita Lark
The first issue of our magazine came out in 1985, and we switched to an online edition in 1995. Our reviews have been denounced by the famous and the infamous. Ron Butler wrote "What kind of idiots do you have writing book reviews?" Jim Finkenaur said that our review of a book about West Point was "crap, pure and simple crap." Mike Johnston suggested that we move to Cuba. And Sharon Cournoyer said that our reviewer "was far more interesesting in her own cleverness and ability to dash off a few zingers." Yet X. J. Kennedy called our review of his book "generous," and Norman Mailer said that "It's worth having around." Critiques appeared in the "Washington Post," the "Los Angeles Times," the "San Francisco Chronicle," "Library Journal" and on National Public Radio. The revamped magazine has been online now for nearly eighteen years and garners between 200,000 and 250,000 page hits a month. To celebrate these many years of our presence, the editors have put together a two-volume set, "The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World." It contains over 200 of our best pieces, drawn from our original magazine and its noisy on-line step-child. This is a winnowing of the more than 4,000 reviews, articles, poems and readings that we've published since 1985, including -- E. L. Doctorow on writing-- S. J. Perelman on nudniks-- Alan Watts on the heart-- Joshua Slocum on sailing alone-- Mary F. K. Fisher on tangerines-- J. R. Donleavy on making love-- Sherwood Anderson on the grotesques-- Alberto Moravia on the women of Rome-- Jakusho Kwong Roshi on counting the breath-- Quan Barry on female circumcision-- Abbie Hoffman on the revolution-- Reymundo Sanchez on this bloody life-- Ananya Roy on Calcutta-- Alexa Albert on brothels-- William Buckley on himself-- Derek Jarman on AIDS-- Larry McMurtry on depression-- Eugene V. Debs on freedom-- Lawrence Durrell on frying the flag-- Sean Condon on Amsterdam-- Joyce Cary on dirty artists and the clean rich-- Jerome K. Jerome on smelly cheeses-- Paul Krassner on the 1968 Democratic Convention-- Carolyn Creedon on love-- Nathanael West and Miss Lonelyhearts-- Laura Esquivel on the conquest of Mexico-- Hans Nazoa on Jenny Lind-- Manuel del Cabral on onanism-- Susan Parker on tumbling after-- Sharon Olds on mothers and fathers.