Winnipeg Free Press column, March 4, 2017

In Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg’s The House of Secrets (Grand Central, 398 pages, $11), Jack Nash, the host of a conspiracy-themed television series, is killed in a car accident. His children, Hazel and Skip, survive. An FBI agent comes to see Hazel in the hospital, spinning a tale of murder and mystery: a man is dead, … Continue reading Winnipeg Free Press column, March 4, 2017

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American Idol: The Untold Story, Richard Rushfield (Hyperion)

The subtitle is not entirely accurate. A lot of this story has been told before, and devout fans of the popular television series might occasionally find themselves in familiar territory; for instance, the scandal surrounding the elimination of future Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and the conspiracy theory that sprang up after Ryan Seacrest accidentally misstated … Continue reading American Idol: The Untold Story, Richard Rushfield (Hyperion)

Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—the Creators of Superman, Brad Ricca (St. Martins Press)

Spanning nearly a century, this is the story of a would-be sf writer and tireless self-promoter (Siegel) and his more subdued but very talented schoolmate (Shuster), who created a superhero and, quite by accident, kick-started the immature comic-book industry and revolutionized sf. Then, thanks to one ill-considered decision made before anybody knew how popular or … Continue reading Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—the Creators of Superman, Brad Ricca (St. Martins Press)

Chronicle-Herald Column, April 2016

Make Me (Dell, paperback) is the new Jack Reacher thriller by Lee Child, and if you’re a fan of the Reacher novels then that’s really all you need to know. If you’ve never read a Reacher, then you also need to know this: nobody writes thrillers the way Lee Child writes them.   Reacher is … Continue reading Chronicle-Herald Column, April 2016

Winnipeg Free Press Column, November 2017

Chris Smith’s The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History (Grand Central, 459 pages, $25) tells the story of the Comedy Central satirical comedy show in the words of its creators, hosts, correspondents, guest stars, writers, satirical targets, critics and producers. Like James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ Live From New York — the classic oral history of Saturday Night … Continue reading Winnipeg Free Press Column, November 2017