Marcel Theroux's Strange Bodies is about Nicholas Slopen's return to life, the 18th-century lexicographer Samuel Johnson and dead people inhabiting new bodies. As Slopen is cautioned, "the truth of this situation is much stranger and more complex than you can imagine."
Theroux, whose previous novel, Far North, was a National Book Award finalist, is also a filmmaker. He joins NPR's Scott Simon to talk about his genre-bending new novel and the thin lines that separate real life and science fiction.
One hopes, at an event of nebulous actual significance like the opening ceremonies of any Olympics, for a single moment that can tease out the specific weirdness of that event. You need something, some nut, some bit, that can demonstrate to people in a single flash what it was like for a bunch of people to pay attention to something even though arguably nothing happened.
If you want to know what Elvis' fur lampshade looks like, you can go to Graceland, but if you want to know what Elvis was really like, you have to read Peter Guralnick's classic two-volume biography of the King.
The death of the brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, killed by an apparent heroin overdose at the age of 46, is a frightening reminder of the torture that is addiction. After a bout with drugs when he was younger, Hoffman was clean for two decades. But he started taking prescription pain pills in 2012 and checked into a rehab program last year. On Sunday he was found dead in a Manhattan apartment, along with dozens of small envelopes of drugs.
George Clooney's TheMonuments Men tells the largely true story of a squad of art experts who, near the end of World War II, are assigned to protect the masterworks of European society from Nazi theft and Allied bombardment. You'll notice those are two separate goals.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:52 pm
A few months ago, we told you all about the bologna advice swirling around in the wine-tasting world. And then we offered you a few tips to quickly master the art. (Yes, it is highfalutin, but there is some real science behind it.)
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland, Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor of The Islamic Monthly, with us from Chicago. Here in Washington D.C., contributing editor for The Root, Corey Dade. Also here in D.C., TELL ME MORE editor Ammad Omar. Take it away, Jimi.
I woke up Wednesday, drank some coffee, and learned (thank you, Frank Morris and Morning Edition) that it was the 100th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' birth. Burroughs was born in St. Louis and died in Lawrence, Kansas â€“ improbable geographic bookends to his really out-there life.
But this post is not so much about William Burroughs as about William Burroughs' typewriter.
On this week's show, we turn to a topic near and dear to exactly half of our hearts: the wide world of sports. Glen explains how he came to feel the same way about sports that he feels about Fred Basset. Stephen envisions an actor breaking his leg and the play falling into a "clown show," and I wax rhapsodic about those great little Olympic stories about somebody's excited mom. It's the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the nature of enthusiasm, all in one sportsy chat.