Louis Bayard
Louis Bayard
Louis Bayard Louis Bayard
Novels

NEW!  Book Review
A refugee in Israel seeks his own kind of justice in the masterful 'City of Secrets'
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NEW!  Book Review
'The King and Queen of Malibu,' a History of Paradise
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Book Review
Stephen Witt's 'How Music Got Free' explains just that
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NEW!  Book Review
'It Starts With Trouble,' by Clark Davis
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Readers' Review: "Euphoria" by Lily King
Listen to Louis discuss "Euphoria" on The Diane Rehm Show
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Gore Vidal's 'Thieves Fall Out,' Where Pulp Fiction and Hard Reality Met
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"The B-Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song"
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James Gavin's 'Is That All There Is?' reveals a talented but tormented Peggy Lee
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Book World: 'Empire of Mud,' by J.D. Dickey
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'The Silkworm,' by Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J.K. Rowling
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Readers' Review: "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" By Ben Fountain
Listen to Louis discuss "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" on The Diane Rehm Show
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"Havisham" by Ronald Frame
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"The Valley of Amazement" by Amy Tan
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"The Disaster Artist" by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell
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'Salinger,' a biography of the reclusive author, by David Shields and Shane Salerno
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Review
"Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music" by Burt Bacharach
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"Insane City" by Dave Barry
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"The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies" by David Thomson
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"Who I Am" by Pete Townshend
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"The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days" by Ian Frazier
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"The Fan Who Knew Too Much" by Anthony Heilbut
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"Gold" by Chris Cleave
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"Drop Dead Healthy" by A.J. Jacobs
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"The Fry Chronicles" by Stephen Fry
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"Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark" by Brian Kellow
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"The Litigators" by John Grisham
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"Harold: The Boy Who Become Mark Twain" Hal Holbrook's memoir by Hal Holbrook
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"Writing Movies for Fun and Profit" by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
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"Frank: The Voice" by James Kaplan
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Review of "Maf the Dog" by Andrew O'Hagan
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Review of Keith Richards' "Life"
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Review of "At Home" by Bill Bryson
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Book Review
Review of Carl Hiaasen's "Star Island"
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Book Review
Kitty Kelley's biography of "OPRAH A Biography" (April 2010)
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I also appear (7 minutes in) in a CBS Sunday Morning profile of Kitty K:
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Book Review
"The Imperfectionists" by Tom Rachman (May 2010)
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Book Review
"Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone," by Nadine Cohodas (February 2010)
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Book Review
"The Room and the Chair" by Lorraine Adams (February 2010)
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Book Review
"Yours Ever: People and Their Letters" by Marc Spitz (Winter 2010)
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Book Review
"Bowie" by Marc Spitz (Dec. 2009)
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Book Review
'Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong' by Terry Teachout (Dec. 2009)
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Webcast for a local PBS affiliate
Roundup of the best books of 2009
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Doh! The joke's on us
Review of "The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History" by John Ortved
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The 'Symbol' of an Unstoppable Force
Review of "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
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Bedeviled in Barcelona
Review of "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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Love—the Scientific Way
Review of "Masters of Sex" by Thomas Maier
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The Bard's Beautiful Mind
Review of "Soul of the Age" by Jonathan Bate
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A Lust for Beauty
Review of "Vincente Minnelli" by Emanuel Levy
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The Ego that Fed Fitness Fever
Review of "Mr. America" by Mark Adams
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A Long-Winded Rival to Dickens
Review of "Drood" by Dan Simmons
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Sociable Darwinists
The Americans who believed in "survival of the fittest"
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Malcolm Gladwell's secrets of success
Bill Gates and the Beatles owe their genius to nurture not nature, argues the acclaimed "Tipping Point" author. It's a nice theory.
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Why "Scarface" is f---ing great
De Palma's '80s cult classic is trash, many scoff. But the lowdown, seedy movie with Al Pacino as a Cuban thug influenced pop culture from gangsta rap to "Miami Vice."
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Black presidents we have known
What does it look like to have an African-American in the White House? Pop culture has offered versions awful and great, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Chris Rock.
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Payback's a bitch
Margaret Atwood talks about the perils of debt—and imagines a utopian future without greed.
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If McCain wins, should we all move to Scandinavia?
Imagine a land where presidents don't sprinkle holy water on wars, citizens have good healthcare and governments care about the environment.
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Must read: New fiction we love
Bootlegging brothers, get-rich-quick schemes and a sensational murder trial make "The Wettest County in the World" a riveting read.
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A nation of conspiracy theorists can't be wrong
From miracle diets to creationism to rumors about the origins of 9/11, a new book traces our irrational love of misinformation.
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Philip Roth's Jewish question
In his affecting new book, Roth's young hero abandons his Jewish upbringing for life in small town Ohio.
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So much misery, so little time
Peter Trachtenberg took a tour around the world in his quest to understand why some people are crushed by suffering and others are transformed by it.
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The 1960s' gayest show
As a kid, "The Wild Wild West" taught me about sexiness and desire—and how two men could live together and love each other.
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How Kafka-esque is Kafka?
The Czech writer has become the prophet of our absurd era, but a new book intends to strip the author of his saintly reputation.
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"Brideshead Revisited"
No expense has been spared in this lavish, streamlined adaptation, but is there such a thing as too much good taste?
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How to read the James Wood way
The fiercely talented critic takes us on an illuminating tour of fiction—but there's a hole in his plot.
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Answering terror with terror
In "The Dark Side," Jane Mayer chronicles the terrible, destructive decisions the Bush administration made in the name of fighting terrorism.
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Jesus loves you—and your orgasm
The religious right is celebrating sex to stroke its conservative message. Liberals better rise to a secular defense soon.
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Gore Vidal's inconvenient truths
"The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal" reminds us that this combative political provocateur is also one of our finest literary critics.
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Scott McLellan comes clean
Of course the White House couldn't see the revealing "What Happened" coming. It was McClellan's job as press secretary to conceal himself.
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Kiss my ass
For years America has desperately tried to outlaw sodomy and other sex acts like fellatio and cunnilingus. What are we so scared of?
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Are you too dumb to vote?
Sure, ignorance is rampant among the American electorate, as Rick Shenkman argues. But without The People, there would be no Democracy as we know it.
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Finale wrap-up: "American Idol"
America finally gets it right, and the best man wins!
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Who killed the literary critic?
In the age of blogging, great critics appear to be on life support. Salon's book reviewers discuss snobbery, how to make criticism fun and the need for cultural gatekeepers.
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Why Ronald Reagan didn't completely suck
In "The Age of Reagan," liberal historian Sean Wilentz reckons with the enormous, ongoing influence of the teflon president.
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Is everything we know about American history wrong?
Forget the Pilgrims. America's roots are older and more twisted, what Tony Horwitz calls a "primordial slime of false starts and mutations."
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Legal appeal
Long before there was "Law and Order," a TV criminal defense attorney named Perry Mason brought high courtroom drama to the masses.
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Flagging America's racial divide
An infamous 1976 photo captured a violent encounter between white Bostonians and a black lawyer during an anti-busing rally. A new book explains why this image continues to haunt and define us.
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The witty detective
Karen Joy Fowler's follow-up to bestseller "The Jane Austen Book Club" is a detective novel about a mystery writer whose tales come back to haunt her.
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Can Stephen Colbert save America?
A new book argues that Colbert, Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are good for democracy. But is it taking late-night comedy too seriously?
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Seduced by the Dalai Lama
He may be a global icon of goodness, as Pico Iyer's biography reminds us. But is the Dalai Lama the political leader Tibet needs?
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Die, Daddy, Die!
After a lifetime of competing with his father, writer David Shields has had enough. But the aged patriarch remains "cussedly, maddeningly alive."
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The Down Side
Sadness may be good philosophy—and better for you.
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Are You Going to Hell?
Former born-again Christian John Marks journeyed back into the evangelical America he'd left behind and discovered the promise—and limitations—of faith.
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Dissecting "Gray's Anatomy"
Review of "The Anatomist" by Bill Hayes
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The Inner Bard
Review of "Shakespeare Unbound" by Rene Weis
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Once Upon a Wild and Crazy Time
Review of "Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin
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It's Alive!
Review of "Frankenstein: A Cultural History" by Susan Tyler Hitchcock
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Ripe for the Picking
Review of "Strawberry Fields" by Marina Lewycka
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The Unauthorized Katie Couric: Smiling Ambition
Review of Edward Klein's "Katie: The Real Story"
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A Tang to the Warm Spit
Review of "The Coup" by Jamie Malanowski
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Jack Valenti's Memoir Rated "L" for Loyal
Review of "This Time, This Place" by Jack Valenti
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Dr. Polidori's Pilgrimage
Review of "Imposture" by Benjamin Markovits
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A Dashing Actor, Dashing off a Disappointment
Review of "Include Me Out" by Farley Granger
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History Meets Fiction and Smashes It Flat
Review of "Heyday" by Kurt Andersen
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A fraud's life
Can great art spring from a lie? Two new books about forgers raise provocative questions about the links between authenticity and genius.
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YouTube, j'accuse!
Controversial critic and disgraced blogger Lee Siegel rages against Internet culture and blogofascism.
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"Being told we can't is making a lot of homos wanna"
In "The Commitment", sex columnist Dan Savage explores what gay marriage actually feels, sounds and smells like—but should he tie the knot?
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Who needs a spanky?
The exploitative "Who's Your Daddy?" is too stupid to get worked up over. But Americans might want to question the Fox idea of family.
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Bad "Boy"
As the serialized gay bashing of "Boy Meets Boy" winds to a close, will the gay hero be duped by the straight guy? Or will viewers get duped into thinking this is really edgy new cultural ground?
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A dying breed
In the new world of body-slamming right-wing politics, what's a snooty, fake-patrician über-WASP conservative like George Will to do?
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Culture war is hell
Sept. 11 may have brought the country together as never before—but that hasn't fooled William Bennett. He is going cave by cave until every humanist and moral relativist has been smoked out.
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Just So-So Stories
Review of "True Enough" by Stephen McCauley
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Getting Even
Review of "The Abomination" by Paul Golding
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Holy madness?
A novel about a nun tormented to find that her epiphanic visions have a biological cause.
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Get Me Rewrite
A first novel that deals with life and death at a newspaper.
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He/She's So Fine
Review of "Trans-sister Radio" by Chris Bohjalian
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A Terrible Splendor
Review of "A Match Made in Heaven" by Marshall Jon Fisher
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Louis Bayard