Christopher Smith

Helpful votes received on reviews: 94% (16 of 17)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia


Top Reviewer Ranking: 495,571 - Total Helpful Votes: 16 of 17
Piano Concertos & Solo Wor ~ Frederic Chopin
Piano Concertos & Solo Wor ~ Frederic Chopin
I have always been an admirer of Claudio Arrau and his extraordinary pianism. His were the first Beethoven sonatas I ever bought, and the quality and quantity of his overall repertoire is mind-boggling. However, his Chopin has always stood out for me, and I have long treasured his Philips recordings of the Preludes, the Ballades, and the Nocturnes. While I have my fair share of Pollini, Rubinstein, Zimerman, and Ashkenazy, Arrau to me brings an extra dimension of meditative, searching spirituality to Chopin that is utterly unique and unforgettable. To me every Chopin piece tells a story or sketches within the space of a couple of minutes a strikingly vivid image in my mind, and Arrau is… Read more
I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
Roth's preceding novel, "American Pastoral," established a new and astonishingly rich fictional domain for him--that of coming to grips with the personal vicissitudes and sociopolitical anguish of a complex decade (the 1960s) through the medium of a few richly drawn, representative characters. "I Married a Communist" continues this idea, only here it is the 1950s that is put under the magnifying glass. Popular culture has fashioned the 1950s into the "Happy Days" decade--a decade that still makes many a baby boomer misty-eyed for its apparent innocence and simplicity of purpose and beliefs. You don't see much of that in "I Married a Communist."...
It's a wonderful, powerful novel,… Read more
American Pastoral: American Trilogy (1) by Philip Roth
This is the first Philip Roth I've read since the Zuckerman Bound omnibus novel was issued in the late eighties, and I must say that, if this is any indication, I'm delighted and impressed with the direction his fiction has taken in the last decade or so. Gone is the self-absorption and Roth's tiring fixation on sex as the center of his fictional universe. In its place is a wide-ranging and devastating portrait of America in the 1960s, and a latter day deconstruction of the fabled American Dream so self-contained and complete that I honestly think it does for 1990s American literature what the Great Gatsby did for the 1920s.
Nathan Zuckerman is still with us, but here Zuckerman is an… Read more