MixedThe New York Journal of BooksPerl draws out the depth of character and personality that was Calder and spins it around in step with Calder’s inventiveness ... Settling in to the first few chapters is like settling in to a seat at a Wagner opera. We dally around with Calder’s and his wife’s to’s and fro’s and then we realize there are still 500 pages to go and the weight of the book starts to make our arms stiff. Then it dawns on us: This is going to take a while to get through ... 500 pages and 500 illustrations later as this long story concludes, we sit with this heavy feeling that we just read an enormous amount of information about a person whose way of life was so singularly unique, who just happened to be in the middle of that grand ongoing Modern Art debate during the rebuilding of post-war America ... Though Perl’s research is intense, the presenting of it is exhausting. Hard core biographers will revel in the nitty-gritty mundane. Be prepared here for long-winded paragraphs and some very dry fits and starts. This is an author who is clearly fascinated by sidelines and obscure quips, for whom it would be excruciatingly painful if he had to leave a single thing out.
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksWith a snappy tone and a desire to get to the bottom of some burning questions, Kuang’s research is clear and direct as he tells the stories of many a catastrophe and the subsequent investigations; of wide-spread problems and the discovery of solutions. It’s almost incredible that the culprit (or the hero) in all of these situations was design! ... While Kuang and Fabricant do a fine job in addressing how technology got where it is today, they don’t make a peep about how we can use design to mitigate against the broad, sneaky, creeping infiltration that threatens our very identities. If anything, this book sounds an alarm for what design training programs need to be proactively including ... On the one hand, this book is really pretty cool. But on the other hand there is an unsettling awareness of what is silently festering beneath the surface. User Friendly offers a wild, eye opening ride through the evolution of the psychological perceptions and unfathomable applications of technology.
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksA story as unbelievable as any fiction on the shelves ... Half historical fiction with Agatha Christie-style clue disclosure, and half investigative reporting with an art history educative quality, The Last Leonardo aspires to communicate many things that makes it dry in places and fascinating in others ... Yet in spite of its inconclusiveness, this painting represents a captivating look at the universal allure of Leonardo, the high roller art market, international politics, big business, curious cultural quirks . . . well, you name it, with 500 years to its seniority, the Salvator, and Lewis in his research, has hit upon just about every angle there is or could potentially be ... Lewis provides a mood which betrays how risky and emotional life much have been for Simon and Parrish during the 12 years they protected, promoted and invested in their fragile baby. We get a feel for how good Lewis is at chasing false leads and making a book out of them all. He is almost as good a salesman, and as talented a wordsmith, as the art dealers that wrangled out an eye-popping sale.
RaveNew York Journal of Books\"... Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas\'s Masterpiece deserves all the attention it has been getting in more ways than one ... Laurens, long fascinated by this piece and preoccupied by the meaningful questions it raised for her, has dug into this context in a thought provoking, if sadly realistic, story ... The surprise in the project is how well Laurens’ intoxicating and contagious point of view comes across even through translation, for which Wood deserves a standing ovation ... an exquisite book about a poignantly wretched little girl and everything she represented.\
Miles J. Unger
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksAfter an introduction steeped in present-day verbiage nostalgic for a time long gone, Unger succumbs to the sentimental draw and leads the reader back in time ... Written in an assured and confident voice, Picasso and the Painting that Shocked the World tells the real and earthy story of a scandalous painting, its unscrupulous painter, and the whirlwind turn of the century European setting in which it all came about, blindsiding people out of their Renaissance stupor.