January 1, 2014 |
When Nelson Lopéz was preparing the first bilingual translation of "Tales of Clay," a landmark short-story collection by the legendary Salvadoran writer known as Salarrué, he turned for inspiration to some unlikely sources: Mark Twain and the Coen brothers. First published in 1933, the three dozen stories in "Tales of Clay" evoke the harsh lives and slangy rural idiom of El Salvador's indigenous peasants. Their author, Salvador Efraín Salazar Arrué, a.k.a. Salarrué (pronounced sal-ru-ay)
August 25, 2009 |
Thirty-five years ago this summer, a 21-year-old Aussie named Rocky Perone made his professional baseball debut. Except he wasn't 21. He wasn't Australian. And he wasn't Rocky Perone. He was Rich Pohle, who grew up in Maine but so convincingly forged a phony identity that the San Diego Padres signed him to a contract even though he actually was 36 and, when not in character, spoke with a thick New England accent. Pohle (pronounced POH-lee) made it through only one minor league game in Idaho before he was found out, but the infielder's tale of determination and deception endured after he wrote a first-person account of it for Sports Illustrated in 1979.
June 27, 2009 |
It isn't easy being a teen, especially if you're Karl Shoemaker, the expletive-spewing protagonist at the center of John Barnes' "Tales of the Madman Underground." By Page 5 of this darkly comic coming-of-age novel for young adults, Shoemaker has sworn as many times, disparaging the numerous cats that his hippie mom has let defile their house and his own frustrated attempts to deal with a living situation from which he desperately wants to escape.
November 15, 2012 |
In Jean-Marc Vallée's time-shifting question mark of a movie "Café De Flore," love is a force by turns organic, therapeutic, alienating and enough of a connective tissue to bind two seemingly incongruent stories. One of Vallée's parallel tales is set in 1969 and concerns a Parisian single mother (an effective Vanessa Paradis) of less-than-modest means committing herself fully to the developmental needs of her Down syndrome son. The other follows a present-day Montreal DJ (Kevin Parent)
May 23, 2010 |
Darwin's Bastards Astounding Tales From Tomorrow Selected and edited by Zsuzsi Gartner Douglas & McIntyre: 456 pp., $21.95 Reading Zsuzsi Gartner's introduction to "Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales From Tomorrow," you might get the idea that the future's gotten old. It's been a while, after all, since Y2K turned out to be a bust, and even longer since William Gibson invented cyberspace. Given Gartner's tone of 1990s-style millennial anxiety — her concerns include "[g]
March 27, 2014 |
The middling "Locker 13" is a "Twilight Zone"-like anthology of quasi-chilling stories mostly unified by an unlucky little storage closet and the theme of choices and consequences. Featuring five short yarns, each spun out by its own writer and director, the film takes a decidedly old-fashioned approach to situation and character. The result is an alternately creaky and intriguing ride, one of earnest ambition and dashed potential. More consistent is the array of knowing performances, led by the dependable Jon Gries ("Napoleon Dynamite")
September 7, 1986
I'd like to thank KTLA for airing "Tales From the Darkside." It is one of my favorite shows to watch each weekend. S. Toscano, Baldwin Park
March 14, 2011
Give Me Your Heart Tales of Mystery and Suspense Joyce Carol Oates Otto Penzler Book/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 260 pp., $25