Philadelphia Ed Hermance is named as a co-conspirator in an obscenity trial in England for smuggling "obscene" materials to London's prominent gay bookstore Gay's the Word. Hermance is the co-owner of Philadelphia's Giovanni's Room, a gay and feminist bookstore, and he believes the trial represents discrimination.
Book critic John Leonard says that Murial Sparks' new, slim novel is packed with plot. The result isn't clutter, but richness. A Far Cry from Kensington, about a woman in the publishing world of 1950s London, reminds Leonard of Doris Lessing, only with a sense of humor.
Book critic John Leonard says that Greene has trained readers to fill the gaps in his novels and flesh out his sometimes underdeveloped characters. Leonard is a longtime admirer of the author, but says his newest book is more of a notebook than a polished novel.
Rock historian Ed Ward says the 1960s Mod movement started in working-class London, and was rooted more in fashion than rock music. But the amphetimine-fueled subculture was short-lived, and many Mods became hippies. The re-emergence of Mods in the 1970s didn't last long, either.
Novelist Salman Rushdie's new book has been banned in several countries because of what many see as its blasphemous take on Islam. Book critic John Leonard says the novel is indeed blasphemous, but Rushdie directs his ire ecumenically, critiquing Indian culture and Margaret Thatcher as well. The narrative is messy, but it's the messiness that makes it interesting.
Critic Stuart Klawans reviews the new Mike Leigh film, about working class people and their gentrifying London neighborhood. It's the director's first movie since the 1970s; Klawans says it was worth the wait.