Malcolm Jones

Stories by Malcolm Jones

  • The Godfather, on Blu-ray

    The latest 'Godfather' sequel—this one on Blu-ray—is going to make a killing.
  • How Darwin and Lincoln Shaped Us

    How's this for a coincidence? Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born in the same year, on the same day: Feb. 12, 1809. As historical facts go, it amounts to little more than a footnote. Still, while it's just a coincidence, it's a coincidence that's guaranteed to make you do a double take the first time you run across it. Everybody knows Darwin and Lincoln were near-mythic figures in the 19th century. But who ever thinks of them in tandem? Who puts the theory of evolution and the Civil War in the same sentence? Why would you, unless you're writing your dissertation on epochal events in the 19th century? But instinctively, we want to say that they belong together. It's not just because they were both great men, and not because they happen to be exact coevals. Rather, it's because the scientist and the politician each touched off a revolution that changed the world.As soon as you do start comparing this odd couple, you discover there is more to this birthday coincidence than the...
  • Eulogy for Bo Diddley

    Ornery, funny and utterly original, Bo Diddley, a giant of 20th-century music, departs the stage.
  • Toward a New New Orleans

    Has this vibrant culture come back from Katrina? Signs point to Yes—but.
  • Arbus and Other ‘Freaks’

    The late photographer discovered some of her most famous images in Hubert's Museum, a Times Square freak show. Now a new book shows how Arbus, her subjects and the collectors who came after all tie together in a tall but true American tale.
  • Everything is Illuminated

    Classics Illustrated once introduced millions of children to the pleasures of a great story. A new generation of publishers is betting they can do the same.
  • East Side Story

    Richard Price's novel may look like a murder story, but it's really a tough guy's love letter to the old neighborhood.
  • The Dark Side of Vegas

    'Beautiful Children' is as colorful and crazy as the Strip itself. They both might make you a little dizzy.
  • A Successor to ‘The Reader’

    Bernard Schlink publishes a successor to 'The Reader'—a novel whose protagonist can't get 'The Odyssey' off of his mind.
  • Death of a Nation

    The Civil War wasn't just our bloodiest conflict. It also changed the way Americans look at death.
  • The Long Career

    Westerns, comedies, dramas and silent films—a new box set proves John Ford mastered all at Fox.
  • The New John Ford Box Set

    Westerns, comedies, historical dramas and silent films—a new DVD collection proves that John Ford was a master of them all.
  • 2007’s Best Books

    Our critic chooses 15 of his favorite books from 2007.
  • Strangling Music With Labels

    Genre-defying musicians have a tough road in a era obsessed with pigeonholing. Three great new albums that prove the rule.
  • Paintball Rembrandt

    Ralph Steadman, best known for his savage illustrations accompanying the writing of the late Hunter S. Thompson, is a man who thinks best with pen in hand. But what he thinks can go out of control in a hurry, as Thompson himself discovered on their first assignment together, covering the Kentucky Derby in 1970. It was Steadman's poison pen that nearly got them thrown out of several bars and parties. Sharp-toothed exaggeration and malice aforethought are his meat.So while having a fox trapped in the kitchen would be more than enough to make a great tale for most people, for Steadman it was the starting point. When he decided to illustrate the capture of the rogue fox, the drawing quickly turned into a fox hunt, complete with the red-coated dregs of British society prancing through his kitchen. The fox-hunting drawing was done for Steadman's new partnership with the author Will Self, on display to great effect in "Psychogeography," nominally a collection of Self's ruminations on the...
  • The Onion's View of the World Atlas

    I love maps. They're useful. They're pretty. And quite often, they're free. I love all kinds of maps—old, new, Mercator, treasure, you name it. And after poring over The Onion’s latest parody, "Our Dumb World: Atlas of the Planet Earth," I've decided that I like funny maps best of all.The Onion's map of the United Kingdom, for example, shows the burial site of Mother Goose, a literature mine and the world's grayest building. Ukraine's includes the location of a "headless-doll factory." Like any regular atlas, "Our Dumb World" includes lots of facts, or "facts." Wales is the birthplace of the "oldest, longest, least pronounceable language in the world. When spoken, it sounds like a beautiful song, but when written, it looks like the alphabet just vomited."This is the best parody since the National Lampoon published its phony newspaper, "The Dacron Republican-Democrat," in 1978. But The Onion's atlas is not merely parody. Coupling rage with humor, it transcends its own silliness with...
  • Coltrane: Still Jazz Demigod

    Forty years after his death, the jazz world still lives in the shadow of saxophone demigod John Coltrane.