A dopey wellness guru misleads his minions in Sam Lipsyte’s latest satire

B-

“Every age gets the savior it deserves,” Sam Lipsyte writes late in his fourth novel, Hark. Born in 1968, Lipsyte grew up during the era of Kool-Aid cults and sannyasin sects. He attended college in the decade when greed was God, and published his first novel, The Subject Steve, on that terrible Tuesday when suicidal…

Lust breeds monsters in the full-length debut from the author of “Cat Person”

C+

It’s a tale as old as Facebook: An unknown author at the start of their career writes a story. It becomes a viral phenomenon, launching a thousand hot takes and think pieces about whether it rightfully or not reflects These Troubled Times. Amid the tsunami of debates, analyses, and debates over these analyses, a…

The Big One is your handy survival guide for California’s inevitable downfall

Never forget that film critic Roger Ebert gave Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace four stars upon its release 20 years ago. While Episode I disappointed many longtime Star Wars enthusiasts, Blast Points hosts Jason Gibner and Gabe Bott are celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary with 12 monthly episodes focusing…

Sex addiction turns tiresome in Adèle, from the author of The Perfect Nanny

B-

Adèle, by the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani, is set to be released in English tomorrow, coming to English readers after Slimani’s Prix Goncourt-winning novel, The Perfect Nanny. But chronologically, Adèle came first. It was the author’s debut novel, apparently one inspired by the well-publicized scandal…

Natalie Nourigat creates an engrossing guide on how to break into animation

B+

If you’re at all curious about a career in animation but don’t know where to start for information, Natalie Nourigat’s I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation is a great first step. Nourigat has a talent for effervescent autobiographical comics (see: her 2012 collection of diary comics, Between Gears), and her new…

Hollywood’s Eve captures the “lewd angel” who embodied the soul (and sexuality) of L.A.

B+

If Eve Babitz had never existed, Los Angeles would have had to invent her. The Joan Didions and Nathanael Wests of the world have had their say, their razor-sharp indictments of Hollywood and the City Of Angels standing as the de facto depiction of a West Coast culture that leaves its denizens as vapid and soulless…

Gay Future is the fictional comedy podcast of Mike Pence’s nightmares

TV writer and Fatman On Batman co-host Marc Bernardin has been threatening to start a Battlestar Galactica rewatch podcast for years. His desire to talk BSG in podcast form clearly comes from his personal love of the show, but it also comes from the fact that he’s friends with one of the show’s stars, actress Tricia…

The 15 most anticipated books of 2019

On New Year’s Eve, we received a tarot reading, and we were told the coming year would bring a great abundance. An abundance of what? Judging from our ever-growing to-read pile, we can only assume the cards meant “books,” because there are quite a few coming our way in 2019. On the fiction front, we’re looking forward…

Here’s to staying in: A decadent yet simple New Year’s Eve menu

The best meal I ever made was a New Year’s Eve dinner a few years back. Nothing about it was particularly unusual—bacon, a big piece of meat, dark chocolate. I’m not in the habit of preparing heavy, decadent meals, and neither are my friends who’d be eating with me, instead favoring somewhat healthier fare that…

The A.V. Club's 2018 podcast superlatives

Podcasts simply couldn’t contain themselves in 2018. Beyond setting multiple records (the third season of Serial was its biggest to date, and with a historically large advertising deal), this ever-growing audio medium also saw some of its most acclaimed series leap to television, with Dirty John on Bravo and Homecoming

Batman, X-Men Red, and the superpower of empathy in Tom Taylor’s comics

At the end of 2018, it’s easy to feel like the people in power just don’t care. Refugees are turned away from sanctuary with tear gas; rights of marginalized communities are systematically stripped away; political corruption runs rampant; mass shootings are an everyday occurrence; and little is being done to stop the…

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