Waxing Press

book review

Book Review: Belladonna by Daša Drndić

book reviewsIan WissmanComment

History is heredity is culture. History repeats itself because it's a genetic inheritance that deteriorates us as we try to push back against it. We try to correct it. In Belladonna, Daša Drndić uses her protagonist, Andreas Ban, a deteriorating retiree, to tell the history of Croatia; it's bloodied past, marred by fascism, antisemitism, and The Holocaust.

Book Review: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Ian WissmanComment

Heller set the tone of post-WW2 ironic fiction, creating a roadmap that only became deeper and more expansive as many clamored to employ their inspiration after reading Catch-22. I don’t think the significance of this book can be overstated when it comes to postmodern fiction. Reading it is like finding the source material to your favorite works; a missing link. The lineage of literary ancestry.

Book Review: Passing Off by Tom Leclair

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

If you you're attracted to Greece and Athens, LeClair paints the life of the Greeks in a unique, non-Romanticized way that the West rarely sees, giving great insight into the culture and its tics. The book has prescience, too, into not only the Greek economic woes we've seen in the past decade, but the true threats of global warming, especially to a place like Greece so reliant on its booming tourism business--what happens when the beaches are gone?

Book Review: The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski

book reviews, tastemakingIan WissmanComment

The Familiar is a singular literary moment in the making that I am not so sure is getting the attention it deserves, so I’ll use my tiny little voice on this remote corner of the internet to profess to you its power. Before I speak directly about Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May, I’ll mention a bit about the series as a whole: I’ve said in other reviews of Vols. 3 & 4 (found on Goodreads) that The Familiar isn’t just a novel in serial, but the development of a whole mythology on par with the classics, codified in our unique 21st century world.