May 1, 2011 |
I've outgrown J.D. Salinger, and I don't know where that leaves me. I was 10 when my father handed me "The Catcher in the Rye," and I found not just a voice for all the wild despair and sudden inexplicable elation of adolescence but an acknowledgement that these feelings did not occur in a vacuum. Salinger reached into the "vale of tears" catechism of my Irish Catholic upbringing and lifted me out by my hair — don't listen, he said, they're all phonies, just keep your eyes open for small moments of beauty, and you will find them between the lies and the obscenities.
March 18, 2011 |
The auto industry is producing more reliable vehicles. That's the finding of a J.D. Power and Associates dependability study examining problems experienced during the last 12 months by owners of 2008 model-year vehicles. The study, released Thursday, found there were an average of 151 problems per 100 of the 3-year-old vehicles during the time period surveyed. That was the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990 and an improvement from the 155 problems per 100 vehicles that owners of 2007 models reported in last year's study, J.D. Power said.
January 23, 2011 |
J.D. Salinger A Life Kenneth Slawenski Random House: 450 pp., $27 A year after his death on Jan. 27, 2010, it's tough to know how to assess J.D. Salinger; there are too many loose ends. How can we miss a writer who removed himself from the public conversation nearly half a century before he died? At the same time, nothing in the last 12 months has suggested any loosening of the grip he maintained on his writing while he was alive. Whatever Salinger may have produced since his last published piece, the novella "Hapworth 16, 1924," appeared in the New Yorker in 1965 remains out of reach.
December 17, 2010 |
In another sign of a firming economy, the U.S. auto industry is having a good holiday season. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are "significantly beating expectations," according to automotive information company J.D. Power & Associates. The firm tracks transaction data from more than 8,900 car dealers nationally. Through the first two weeks of December, retail sales were tracking at an annual pace of 10.8 million units, the best of the year and a huge jump from the 8.5-million pace during the first quarter of this year.
October 28, 2010 |
Even as General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. get ready to launch electric cars into the marketplace, a new report from auto industry market research company J.D. Power & Associates said that sales of such vehicles would lack juice. Technology geeks and environmentalists are expected to go wild over the first mass-market electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles when they hit auto showrooms in the coming months, but most consumers will balk because of technology concerns and because gas prices aren't high enough to send them searching for an alternative-fuel option, according to the study.
July 15, 2010 |
First it was reliability. Now it is basic looks and appeal. For the first time since 1997, domestic auto brands have collectively surpassed imports in vehicle appeal, said J.D. Power and Associates, the Westlake Village auto research company. Fancy luxury autos from overseas still have an edge, but among mass-market vehicles, the domestic automakers are the top dogs, the research firm said Thursday in its annual Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, or APEAL, study.
June 18, 2010 |
U.S. automakers, which have long battled perceptions of poor craftsmanship in their cars, edged out imports in a key benchmark of quality for the first time in nearly a quarter century. Led by improvements at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., the domestic industry topped J.D. Power & Associates' latest initial quality study — something that has never happened before in the survey's 24 years. The Toyota brand, a perennial star in the survey, plunged below average as it has struggled with massive recalls.
June 9, 2010 |
Fees are rising, service can be lousy and … airline passengers are happier? Yes, according to a customer satisfaction survey released Tuesday. Research company J.D. Power & Associates asked more than 12,300 passengers who flew between April 2009 and April this year to rate North American airlines on costs and fees, flight crew, in-flight services, aircraft, boarding/deplaning/baggage, check-in and reservations. Compared with last year's survey, "performance improved across the board," said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power, based in Westlake Village.
May 3, 2010 |
Like them or not, banks can be hard to leave. Who wants to transfer accounts, get used to new branch locations or master a different online banking system? But consumers increasingly are willing to unglue themselves from what bankers call "sticky" relationships, according to a retail bank survey released by J.D. Power and Associates Inc. last week. It found a growing belief that banks are driven only by short-term profit goals, and that they often overlook basic services such as keeping branches clean and explaining fees to customers.
March 26, 2010 |
Some years ago, a group of angry conservatives staged a march through this posh Phoenix suburb, venting their frustration with Sen. John McCain. He wished them well and, through a spokeswoman, suggested they all wear sunscreen. These days, however, McCain is not so glib about the rancor on his right. Two years after winning the GOP presidential nomination, McCain is facing his toughest reelection fight in nearly two decades -- a primary challenge that highlights his uneasy relationship with fellow Republicans and the perils of his White House pursuit.