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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

'Made To Kill' Is Pulp Pastiche That Hits The Target

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 9:03am

Adam Christopher's sci-fi noir follows robotic hit man Raymond Electromatic through a vividly evoked 1960s Los Angeles. Critic Jason Heller says the book hits exactly the right tone and rhythm.

'Numero Zero' Doesn't Quite Add Up

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 6:03am

Umberto Eco sends up the corrupt, pandering world of 1990's Italian journalism in his latest bovel — but critic Jason Sheehan says Numero Zero is a potboiler that never really boils.

Behind Bars, Cheap Ramen Is As Good As Gold

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:46pm

Instant noodles are a staple for inmates: a basis of recipe hacks, a form of currency. They've even helped defuse a prison riot, as an ex-inmate details in Prison Ramen, a book of stories and recipes.

Quentin Tarantino, At The Eye Of A Firestorm — And A Brewing Culture War

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:19pm

The director's recent comments, in which he described police shootings as "murder," have drawn calls for boycotting his films. They also reveal a bitter fault line in 2016: Who supports the police?

Brief And Brisk, The Newly Translated 'Boxes' Is An Existential Pleasure

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:15pm

The French writer Pascal Garnier, who died in 2010, wrote more than 30 children's books, but he's best known for a series of acclaimed novels. Critic John Powers reviews the newly translated Boxes.

'City Of Clowns' Is A Dreamlike Tale Of Family And Tragedy

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 9:15am

Author Daniel Alarcón's new graphic novel is adapted from a short story about a young Peruvian journalist who discovers strange links between his father and the impoverished street clowns of Lima.

'City Of Clowns' Is A Dreamlike Tale Of Family And Tragedy

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 9:00am

Author Daniel Alarcón's new graphic novel is adapted from a short story about a young Peruvian journalist who discovers strange links between his father and the impoverished street clowns of Lima.

Music Destroys And Music Heals In 'Modern Girl'

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:03am

Riot grrrl legend Carrie Brownstein's excellent new memoir takes readers from her difficult childhood to the rise and fall (and rise again) of her band Sleater-Kinney, which she says saved her life.

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Amid Security Threats, Tunis' Only Kosher Restaurant Shutters

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:09am

NPR first visited Jacob LaLoush's restaurant, a vestige of Tunisia's ancient and once-thriving Jewish community, in 2012. But the country has become more restive in the years since the Arab Spring.

Fall TV: The Good, The Bad And The Inexplicable

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:45am

With the fall TV season well underway, networks are making decisions on the future of their shows. What gets picked up? What gets canceled? TV critic Eric Deggans says quality isn't much of a factor.

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A 'Troublemaker' Leaves Her Life In Scientology

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 7:11pm

In her new memoir, actor Leah Remini writes about growing up in the Church of Scientology, becoming one of its prized celebrities, and her family's eventual, wrenching decision to leave it behind.

Gaming Company Activision Blizzard Buys 'Candy Crush' Developer

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:28pm

King Digital, the Swedish studio behind the "Candy Crush" puzzle game, is selling itself to Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion. The goal of this corporate game: converting Crush players into paying customers interested in other online pastimes.

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A New Kind Of Tragic Prince In 'King Charles III'

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:28pm

Mike Bartlett's play King Charles III is a Shakespearean meditation on what might happen if Prince Charles became king — and caused a crisis by sticking to his principles rather than what's popular.

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The History Of American White Bread Is Anything But Bland

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 1:37pm

From a scapegoat for the "sapping" of the "white race," to a symbol of modern engineering, to a target of the counterculture movement: White bread's been a social lightning rod time and again.

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'Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise' Educates But Doesn't Entertain Its Readers

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:55pm

Oscar Hijuelos' posthumously published novel chronicles the friendship between Mark Twain and explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Maureen Corrigan says the book lacks the magic of Hijuelos' best work.

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For Tracey Stewart, Life After The 'Daily Show' Is All About The Animals

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:55pm

When they ran out of room for rescue animals in their home, Tracey Stewart and her husband, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, bought a farm. Tracey Stewart's new book is Do Unto Animals.

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'White Road' Maps The History Of Porcelain

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:03am

While readers may not share Edmund de Waal's obsession with the precious clay (at one point, he crafts an exhibition of 2,455 white-glazed porcelain vessels), his writing makes the subject seductive.

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Making Sense Of A Scandal-Fractured Family In 'Houses'

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 6:03am

Karen Olsson's novel follows a woman who returns home to care for her ailing father, but also in the hopes that she can get him to open up about how the Iran-Contra scandal ended his career.

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Tue, 11/03/2015 - 4:03am

We just made discovering new podcasts a whole lot easier. Here are 200+ episodes, hand-picked by listeners like you (and Matthew McConaughey).

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John Irving Always Knows Where He's Going

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:46am

Irving's latest novel is Avenue of Mysteries. He tells NPR's Lynn Neary that he thinks about each book for a long time — and he doesn't start writing until he knows what the ending will be.

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