In case any of you are trying to figure out what to read over the holiday or thinking of buying a book for a gift, I posted a review of Zadie Smith's On Beauty over at Vox in Sox. This review ran in the fall issue of the Dartmouth Contemporary, which, unfortunately, is not online.
I had very mixed feelings about Smith's book. Like a lot of recent acclaimed fiction (e.g. Jonathon Safran Foer and Dave Eggers), it's brilliant but not all that moving. Memorable as hell, but I don't think it can touch a reader in the way Nabokov or Faulkner can. It's definitely not that there isn't substance—there is remarkable substance, but the effect is not as visceral, I suppose. Anyway, read the review if you're interested in Zadie Smith or books or whatever.
Has anyone read the Banville novel that won the Booker or Marilynne Robinson's Gilead? I really want to read those.