After many months of teasing and leading us on, the New York Times Book Review has seen fit to publish a review of my book, A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America." (Click on the title of this post to read the review. Also, make sure to check out the link to the first two chapters of my book.) We kept hearing that there was "still a good chance" and that the editors "were waiting for it to be assigned a 'run date'" Frankly, I abandoned hope a couple months back when the Book Review ran a "War" issue, but now here it is, and on April Fool's Day, no less.
Christopher Sorrentino, author of the novels "Sound on Sound" and "Trance" (a finalist for the National Book Award) wrote the review. I'm reading "Trance" right now, and I have to say that the man can write--not that he needs my validation--just for the record.
The review is also accompanied by a very smart graphic (see above image) by Lenny Naar. Good work, Lenny.
Here's a taste of the review:
In the manner of Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others” and Roland Barthes’s “Camera Lucida,” the book is quiet, offbeat, at times intensely personal. Griffith claims that “the Abu Ghraib photos are the very picture of the American soul in conflict with itself,” that the reaction to them “calls attention not to a difference but a similarity in belief between author and audience.” He sees an enormous gap between the viewing of disturbing images and contemplation of the ways in which we are implicated in the acts they portray. It’s a valid observation, as we continue to fight a war whose strategic rationale, in part, is surely to allow us to continue to pay less for a gallon of gasoline than we do for a bag of Chips Ahoy.
Thanks to Soft Skull and Richard Nash and my agent Andrew Blauner for whatever voodoo spells they cast to make this happen.