O Brother | John Niven

Thursday 2 September 2010 I Wake up early, just after dawn, back in my teenage bedroom at the age of forty-four. Well, I’m in a bigger version of it. The partition wall was knocked down a few years back, Mum returning the house to its original two-bedroom configuration. The strange, universal sense of depersonalisation it … Read more

Containment, Reform, and Abuse: On John T. McGreevy’s “Catholicism”

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 THE WORD “CATHOLIC” comes from the Greek and means “whole” or “universal.” Until the Great Schism of 1054, there was only the one Christian Church: thereafter, it was divided between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. With the Reformation, Christianity fractalized. Nonetheless, it still makes a good sense to speak of the Catholic Church as … Read more

I Don’t Worry About My Oeuvre: A Conversation with John Carpenter

NOVEMBER 2, 2022 WHILE HE HASN’T directed a film since 2010’s The Ward — and has made only two in total since 1998 — John Carpenter’s DNA courses through modern movies, from the contemporary horror that mines his psychological insight into slashers and laymen alike or the way Kurt Russell’s befuddlement, as the conscripted protagonist … Read more

The First Climate Fiction Masterpiece: On John Wyndham’s 1953 Novel “The Kraken Wakes”

OCTOBER 15, 2022 READING THE NEWS and reading apocalyptic science fiction can feel like the same thing these days. Roads in England are melting. More pandemics are on the way. Scorching temperatures and rising sea levels are fueling a worldwide refugee crisis. Any one of these, or a dozen other examples, would elicit horror. But … Read more

God’s Ongoing Story: On John Haught’s “God After Einstein”

AUGUST 28, 2022 WHILE THE INTENSITY of scientifically inspired New Atheism has to some extent withered since the Iraq War and its aftermath, the scientifically inspired Christian responses to it just keep coming. The main figures in this countermovement have been scientist theologians who populate Britain’s ancient universities and pockets of American academy. The Vatican … Read more

The Paris Review – Speculative Tax Fraud: Reading John Hersey’s White Lotus

Rison Thumboor from Thrissur, India, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. I’m defeatist when it comes to taxes (meaning: I don’t understand deductions and pay whatever TurboTax tells me to), but I’m fascinated by those who aren’t. In 2001, for example, eighty thousand Black Americans filed for reparations with the IRS. Some made this their … Read more