Clay Waters
Clay Waters
In ‘The End Of October,’ A Coronavirus Thriller Hits Too Close To Home

Lawrence Wright’s second novel, ‘The End of October,’ just happens to be about a global coronavirus outbreak—it’s fine thriller, if the uncomfortable resemblance to real-life events doesn’t make you squirm.

‘The Testaments’ Further Explores Margaret Atwood’s Feminist Dystopia

In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments,’ she expands upon the dystopian vision created by ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ and reveals political complexities that many ardent fans overlook.

In ‘Blue Moon,’ Jack Reacher Is Back

In Lee Child’s ‘Blue Moon,’ the popular and indomitable action hero Jack Reacher is back, and the results are typically satisfying.

‘Knives Out’ Is The Worthwhile Whodunnit We’ve All Been Waiting For

The new in-theaters release ‘Knives Out’ is inventive, entertaining, surprisingly political, and not without an emotional tug.

The Untold Story Of T.S. Eliot And A Legendary Book Publisher

In ‘Faber & Faber: The Untold Story,’ Toby Faber tells the engaging history of his grandfather’s literary institution and dishes on many of its more notable authors.

Two New Hyped Thrillers Push Limits Of The Genre

Two much-buzzed-about new books, ‘The Escape Room’ by Megan Goldin and ‘The Need’ by Helen Phillips, have intriguing premises but don’t always deliver in execution.

Exploring The World Beneath Your Feet With ‘Underland’

In ‘Underland,’ nature writer Robert Macfarlane explores mines, catacombs, and even holes in glaciers to examine how what’s underground affects the world above. The resulting prose may be flowery, but it can also be deeply edifying.

Black Mirror Series 5 Is Less Tech-Focused And More Character-Driven

This might be the least ‘Black Mirror’-ish series to date, and a possible start to the show’s mature period. That’s a good thing.

A Literary Exploration Of The Differences Between Man And Machine

Venerable British novelist Ian McEwan’s latest, ‘Machines Like Me,’ imagines an intriguing, but ultimately disappointing, past where Alan Turing never died and humanity is forced to confront advanced artificial intelligence in the 1980s.

Do Androids Dream Of Humanity And Empathy?

Martin L. Shoemaker’s debut science fiction novel, ‘Today I Am Carey,’ asks if robots will become part of our family in the future and, if so, can androids truly be kind or is the emulation of human feelings enough?

After 50 Years, Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilisation’ Still Poses Trenchant Cultural Questions

Before finding public fame through ‘Civilisation,’ Kenneth Clark was a well-known art critic and youngest-ever director of London’s National Gallery.

‘Golden State’ Depicts A World When Telling The Truth Becomes A Crime

Ben H. Winters’ detective novel ‘Golden State’ tells of a dystopian future where honesty is rigorously policed, and succeeds as thought-provoking entertainment.

Black Mirror’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Movie ‘Bandersnatch’ Is A Technical Tour De Force

‘Bandersnatch’ is a breakthrough experiment in audience interactivity, and driving Internet obsessives to geek out over its endless potential story permutations.

Netflix’s ‘Watership Down’ Miniseries Is Worth Watching, Even For Kids

‘Watership Down’ is both a deeply, fantastically imagined mythology, and an epic adventure story full of thrills and hair-breadth escapes whose appeal to all ages will never stale.

How Will The Rise Of The Machines Change The Future Of Chess?

The World Chess Championship is currently happening in London. What will the future of this ancient game look like as tech speeds up?

‘Yellow Submarine’ Revival Is Your Chance To Enjoy This Underappreciated Beatles Flick

Unfocused, charming, a little sappy, a tad more menacing than one may remember, ‘Yellow Submarine’ is silly and innocent, without being insultingly amateurish.

Uneasy Techno-Fear Gives Way To Existential Terror In Season 4 Of ‘Black Mirror’

The series taps into a timeless, primitive fear of being trapped in the digital hells we’ve constructed — minds with no bodies, no agency.

What ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ Has To Offer Mystery Audiences

A little more claustrophobia may have boosted the suspense. It doesn’t always feel like we’re on a tight train with a killer. But Kenneth Branagh with a massive mustache is certainly a sight.

‘Alien: Covenant’ Temporarily Breathes New Life Into Choking Alien Franchise

It’s unclear where the franchise can go from here. Judging by the so-so box office and ho-hum reviews, there are diminishing returns of humans being chased through dark interstellar halls.

‘Sherlock’s’ Latest Series Creates A Redemption Arc For The Famous Detective

It’s no longer enough for Sherlock to have a clever case to solve. The creators seem pressured to shake up Sherlock’s universe every time out.