Capsule Reviews: Long Emergency & Dance Dance Dance

The Long EmergencyThe Long Emergency, by James Howard Kunstler

Kunstler is as proficient a thinker as he is a writer, so it comes as a surprise that his newest book doesn’t quite work. The topic—society’s reliance on oil, and the problem of what happens when it runs out—is certainly an important one. Part of the problem undoubtedly stems from the fact that the book covers massive grounds; from time to time, Kunstler steps out of his field of hsi realm of knowledge, sapping credibility from the entire book. Generally speaking, he does well when the issues are more down-to-earth and less speculative. Speculation needs to be done, but Kunstler somehow doesn’t manage to pull it off. Still, this is an important book, with important ideas worth discussing.

Dance Dance DanceDance Dance Dance, by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is excellent, as always. Dance Dance Dance is possibly a sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, and one of the most entertaining aspects of it (though there are many) is how the main character offhandedly refers to all that happend in the previous book. There are about five or six consecutive paragraphs in the novel that disappoint, so on the whole you will not be disappointed. Murakami manages, yet again, to remain both morbid and optimistic. How, I don’t know.