Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers: An Existentialist, Ecocritical Western

Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers has been praised as a witty and engaging picaresque novel that turns the traditional western on its head and interjects it with a wry, satirical humour that makes the sometimes tired genre seem fresh.  However, the novel is far more than a clever and quirky take on the western: it […]

Carter Brown’s Play Now… Kill Later: The Existentialist Detective Novel

  As is the case with most Carter Brown novels, Play Now… Kill Later is a template of pulp era detective fiction.  It is filled with titillating women, each peered at through the male gaze, has an androcentric perspective, and follows a private eye as he unravels a mystery in which everybody is lying about […]

Songs of Innocence: A Detective Novel’s Investigation of the Sex Trade

After reading Charles Ardai’s first novel Little Girl Lost (published under the pseudonym Richard Aleas), I was excited to read the second novel in the series.  Though I did not think Little Girl Lost was a perfectly executed novel (few novels are), it did display a form of storytelling that was entertaining and expressed a […]

Under the Skin, by Michel Faber: Existentialist Ecofeminism

  Science fiction and ecocriticism?  What could be better?  Try science and ecofeminism!  Michel Faber’s novel, Under the Skin, is a science fiction tale that is propelled by feminist and ecocritical themes that explore language and our complicity in oppressive systems which we might not control, but do often facilitate and benefit from.  The work […]

Chastity and Virtue in The Honest Whore

The Honest Whore Part 1 and 2 are a pair of Jacobean city comedies that work in concert to underline the hypocrisy of patriarchal standards of chastity; a system that demonizes women who are perceived as unchaste, while men who fail to practice abstinence face no social stigmatization and are indeed seen as the norm.  The […]