PositiveThe Washington PostGray uses a ‘making of’ approach to examine how this mash-up of a movie made magic … Ben’s self-discovery is what attracted Gray to write Seduced by Mrs. Robinson in the first place. Growing up in the ’60s, she embraced ‘The Graduate’ because it made her understand ‘how badly we wanted to distance ourselves from the world of our parents.’ Fifty years later, she has adopted the movie as a generational template, and for most of the book she writes smartly and insightfully about how the characters were shaped by a disruptive age … The book as a whole offers a fascinating look at how this movie tells a timeless story: that life is always about making choices.
MixedThe Washington PostAlthough Sims has carefully tracked Holmes’s origins, he glosses over Conan Doyle’s own evolving character. Notably, he fails to explore how the science-oriented Conan Doyle embraced spiritualism the same year that A Study in Scarlet was published ... When The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published in 1892, Conan Doyle dedicated the collection to 'my old Teacher Joseph Bell, M.D.' Sims abruptly ends his enlightening but limited study at this point — far before Conan Doyle was through with Sherlock. Readers can hope for a second volume.
PositiveThe Washington PostBianculli has researched with gusto, watching thousands of hours of TV, digging through manuscript archives and talking with legendary TV figures. A high point of this history is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others ... Bianculli has written a highly readable history, but he could have delved more deeply into how technology has transformed television from a solitary pastime into an interactive and communal experience.