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Sam Anderson’s marginal book reviews

December 30, 2011

Sam Anderson has published a calendar of his marginal notes in books he read this year.  It is a new (and clever) type of book review – a marginal (sometimes snarky) comment on a brief passage in a book.  Here is a sample of his reviews:


“God’s Justice,” by Anne Carson, in Birds, Beasts and Seas: Nature Poems From New Directions, p. 160

Ann Carson


The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, by James Gleick, p. 154 (galley)



The Luzhin Defense, by Vladimir Nabokov, p. 7



1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, p. 41 (galley)



Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami, p. 198



Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, p. 510

Bleak House

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2011 9:15 pm

    I like Anderson’s “reviews” of Anne Carson (yes, she and her writing are “★ [AMAZING]”) and of Nabok. (“oh please”) best. What’s the diff between “funny” and “LOL” in the review of Charles Dickens?

  2. December 30, 2011 11:40 pm

    Love it! Glad to know I’m not the only one with margins full of “LOLs” and “oh pleases!”

  3. December 31, 2011 8:51 pm

    Kris: Excellent!

    Kurk: I think that his point is that even in Dickens’s most Dickensian novel, the author still can’t help but spewing out one punch-line after another.

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