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Category Archives: books


Sturgeon’s Law states that 90 percent of everything is crap. Kelly’s Corollary adds that 99 percent of that remaining 10 percent is simply good. In art, good is largely preferable to bad—save in the case of something being “so bad it’s good”… but that’s another matter. Good is enjoyable, intelligent, savory, and consistently acceptable, and […]

Introduction for My Soon-to-Be “Published” E-Book Hilaretic

Let me know if this reads well. Well, I’ll Be Damned By Dan Kelly I knew I’d grow up to be a writer. It never occurred to me I’d be a church reviewer. Heck, I didn’t even come up with the concept. Brett McNeil, former Chicago Journal editor did. A decade ago, as Brett mentions […]

Mr. Dan Kelly’s Top Five Desert Island Books

1. Building a Sex Doll with Flotsam and Jetsam, by the Editors of Make Magazine 2. The Joy of Cooking Your Own Foot, by Irma S. Rombauer 3. Fighting Off Mutant Crab Monsters with a Sharpened Stick, by Sgt. Clint Higgins 4. What Was That? On the Horizon… Oh My God! Sob! A Ship! A […]

White Unlike He

Christian Lander strikes me as the kind of high school/college nerd who—saddened that he lacked the musculature to become a true bully—realized he could elevate his sense of self-worth by indiscriminately chopping up things the other nerds liked. Chris Ware pointed out this phenomenon in one of his hilarious parody ads. Selling the product “RESENTMENT” […]

Of Blind Pigs

David Brooks and I, in a rare alignment of planets, agree on something. Performing his usual trick of writing a book review and piggy-backing on another writer (usually issuing his own spin on the writer’s intentions), he addresses literary darling Jonathan Franzen’s latest book Freedom. In-between the sycophantic flattery to ensure he’s on future guest […]

In Honor of Bloomsday…

A bit from my recent article for the Baffler. 75. Ulysses, James Joyce Strolling the streets of Zurich on a beautiful day, homburg hat set at a rakish angle, tapping along with his walking stick, Joyce is astonished as I walk up and, without warning, snap a right jab into his good eye. He leans […]

Science Fantasy

I’m compiling an early science fiction/fantasy collection for my son for when he gets older. I’ll have to include some selections from the Peguin Classics collection as well since Modern Library’s editions don’t always impress me. Modern Library combined “The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde,” for instance, with a bunch of other […]