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And Our Critics Commend

September 07, 1986

Rebel Rock: The Politics of Popular Music, John Street (Blackwell). Street's main gifts are common sense and brisk knowledgeability; his "detailed concern with the process of popular music is a useful corrective to the records-fall-out-of-the-sky school of rock criticism" (Tom Carson).

The Play of the Eyes, Elias Canetti; Ralph Manheim, translator (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), is not your usual autobiography. "Instead of events, gossip or history, Canetti gives us what most matters ultimately: contemplative, penetrating analyses of famous, even notorious artists, writers, and intellectuals" in Vienna from 1933-37 (Jascha Kessler).

The Grail Legend, Emma Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz; Andrea Dykes, translator (Sigo), "is the most comprehensive book on the legends and theories, and it's enhanced by the authors' own Jungian approach, solid and thought-provoking" (Terry Atkinson).

Playing After Dark, Barbara Lazear Ascher (Doubleday). The "pungent, witty, evocative and touching" essays collected here "comprise an update on what it's like to be a writer, a wife and a mother living through the feminist revolution and the batterings of daily urban living" (Carol Ames).

The Progress of Love, Alice Munro (Knopf). Through her characters, Alice Munro "builds a strong sense of person in setting, scrubbing away any false romance, especially for those of us who celebrate country because it's a nice place to visit, and we don't have to live there" (Art Seidenbaum).

Barbarossa Red, Dennis Jones (Little, Brown), is an entertaining geopolitical thriller, "fun for its Politburo scenes and plot twists, which are acceptably far-fetched" (Daniel Akst).

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