My Beautiful Dark Twisted Cocaine Nightmare: “Hotel Living” by Ioannis Pappos

Nothing succeeds like excess in fiction — excess, and the inevitable downfall it foreshadows. You realize that all the sexual escapades and expensive art that Joris-Karl Huysmans’s dandy protagonist in À rebours racks up won’t fill the massive void in his soul, that the sprawling and ornate Gilded Age homes around Fifth Avenue in Edith Wharton’s novels hide dark secrets within their walls, and the gin at Gatsby’s house parties will have to stop flowing sooner rather than later. The good times, […]

Continue Reading

Fiction is Freedom: Martin Amis Live at Bookcourt

The audience brims with British gents young and old. Geezers with smoke-crinkled sinews mix with Hugh Jackman lookalikes in Tom Ford specs, chrome neckties, and the pale blues of Futures traders. In front of all of them sit mostly women aged fifty and over, hedged with me in the front rows. “I’ve been coming to readings for years,” says one. “I used to have the biggest crush on George Plimpton.” Her friend pipes up. “Mine was on Tyrone Power, but […]

Continue Reading