Luc Sante's Bookshelf


  • Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism - Agee on Film; Uncollected Film Writing; The Night of the Hunter; Journalism and Book Reviews

    By James Agee

    Our Price: $17.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9781931082822
    • Publisher: Library of America
    • Published: September 2005
    James Agee brought to bear all his moral energy, slashing wit, & boundless curiosity in the criticism & journalism that established him as one of the commanding literary voices of America at mid-century. Whether reviewing a Judy Garland musical or a wartime documentary, assessing the impact of Italian neorealism or railing against the compromises in a Hollywood adaptation of Hemingway, Agee always wrote of movies as a pervasive, profoundly significant part of modern life, a new art whose classics he revered & whose betrayal in the interests of commerce or propaganda he often deplored.
  • American Humor: A Study of the National Character

    By Constance Rourke

    Our Price: $17.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781590170793
    • Publisher: New York Review Books
    • Published: February 2004
    A new edition of the seminal work in American studies examines American archetypes such as the Yankee, the minstrel singer, the backwoodsman, and the stroller to trace the origins of humor and the American "character." Original.
  • American Salvage

    By Bonnie Jo Campbell

    Our Price: $14.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780393339192
    • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    • Published: December 2009
    National Book Award Finalist. A book rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. They know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century. Through the complex inner lives of working-class characters, Bonnie Jo Campbell illustrates the desperation of post-industrial America, where wildlife, jobs, and whole ways of life go extinct and the people have no choice but to live off what is left behind. Fourteen unforgiving stories. 170p.
  • Bean Spasms

    By Ted Berrigan

    Our Price: $39.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781887123808
    • Publisher: Granary Books
    • Published: September 2012
  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia

    By Rebecca West

    Our Price: $14.00 - $25.20
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143104902
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: January 2007
    This reprint from 1941 is an in-depth exploration of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia, by novelist and writer Rebecca West (1892-1983). The lengthy volume began as a travel book but turned into a detailed study that includes history and cultural commentary about relationships among ethnic groups and about everyday life. It is organized by different regions, including Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
  • But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz

    By Geoff Dyer

    Our Price: $8.50 - $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780312429478
    • Publisher: Picador
    • Published: November 2009
    In eight, poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the personalities who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, in the way he hears the sounds of jazz, Dyer imaginatively reconstructs scenes from the embattled lives of some of the hreats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus tearing down New York City strees on a too-small bicycle; Thelonius Monk creating his own private language at the piano. Sources, Select Discography. 227p.
  • Cigarettes

    By Harry Mathews

    Our Price: $13.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781564782038
    • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
    • Published: October 1998
    A novel about the rich and powerful, tracing their complicated relationships from the 1930s to the 1960s, from New York City to Upper New York State: a story about Allen, who is married to Maud; a story about fraud in the art world, horse racing, and sexual intrigues. Jane Austen meets Aldous Huxley. 292p.
  • Coming Through Slaughter

    By Michael Ondaatje

    Our Price: $7.50 - $13.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679767855
    • Publisher: Vintage
    • Published: March 1996
    At the turn of the 20th century, the Storyville district of New Orleans had some 2,000 prostitutes, 70 professional gamblers, and 30 piano players. It had only one man who played the cornet like Buddy Bolden. By day he cut hair and purveyed gossip. At night he played jazz as though unleashing wild animals in a crowded room, and at age 31 went mad. From a paucity of details, Michael Ondaatje has created a haunting, lushly atmospheric novel about one of jazz's legendary pioneers and martyrs, who, obsessed with death, addicted to whiskey, and self-destructively in love with two women, embodied the dire claims that music places on its acolytes.
  • Critical Essays

    By Hans Magnus Enzenberger

    Our Price: $35.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780826402684
    • Published: August 1982
  • Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams

    By Nick Tosches

    Our Price: $16.20
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780385334297
    • Publisher: Delta
    • Published: May 1999
    From dealing blackjack in the small-time gangster town of Steubenville, Ohio, to carousing with the famous Rat Pack in a Hollywood he called home, Dean Martin lived a grandstand life. He rubbed shoulders with the mob, Monroe, the Kennedy's, and Hollywood's biggest stars. He was one of America's favorite entertainers. But no one really knew him. Now Nick Tosches reveals the man behind the image-dark side of the American dream. It's a wild, illuminating, sometimes shocking tale of sex, ambition, heartaches-and a life lived hard, fast, and without apologies.
  • Dispatches

    By Michael Herr

    Our Price: $8.00
    Kindle Price: $11.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679735250
    • Publisher: Vintage International
    • Published: August 1991
    Written on the front lines in Vietnam, Dispatches became an immediate classic of war reportage when it was published in 1977. From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Michael Herr's formidable account makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. His unsparing retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time. 280p.
  • Fatale

    By Jean-Patrick Manchette

    Our Price: $6.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781590173817
    • Publisher: New York Review Books
    • Published: April 2011
    Whether you call her a coldhearted grifter or the soul of modern capitalism, there's no question that Aimee is a killer and a more than professional one. Now she's set her eyes on a backwater burg-where, while posing as an innocent (albeit drop-dead gorgeous) newcomer to town, she means to sniff out old grudges and engineer new opportunities, deftly playing different people and differnt interests against each other the better, as always, manipulator falls prey to a pure and wayward passion. Aimee has become the avenging angel of her own nihilism, exacting the destruction of a whole society of destroyers. An unholy original, Jean-Patrick Manchette transformed the modern detective novel into a weapon of gleeful satire and anarchic fun.
  • Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America

    By Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

    Our Price: $14.39
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316017244
    • Publisher: Back Bay Books / Little, Brown and Company
    • Published: January 2013
    For a century Harlem has been celebrated as the capital of black America, a thriving center of cultural achievement and political action. At a crucial moment in Harlem's history, as gentrification encroaches, the author untangles the myth and meaning of Harlem's legacy. Examining the epic Harlem of official history and the personal Harlem that begins at her front door, she introduces us to a wide variety of characters, past and present. At the heart of their stories, and her own, is the hope carried overmany generations, hope that Harlem would be the ground from which blacks fully entered America's democracy.
  • How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks

    By Dave Tompkins

    Our Price: $25.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781612190921
    • Publisher: Melville House
    • Published: November 2011
    The Vocoder, invented by Bell Labs in 1928, once guarded phones from eavesdroppers during World War II; by the Vietnam War, it had been repurposed as a voice-altering tool for musicians, and soon became the ubiquitous voice of popular music. I How to Wreck a Nice Beach – from a mis-hearing of the vocoder-rendered phrase “how to recognize speech” – music journalist Dave Tompkins traces the history of electronic voices from Nazi research labs to Stalin’s gulags, from the 1939 World’s Fair to Hiroshima, from artificial larynges to Auto-Tune. The vocoder brushes up against FDR, JFK, Stanley Kubrick Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Kraftwerk, the Cylons, Henry Kissinger, and Winston Churchill, who boomed when vocoderized just before V-E Day, “We must go off!” And now vocoder technology is a cell phone standard, allowing a digital replica of your voice to sound human. Bibliography, Art Bibliography, Index. 349p.
  • I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography

    By Richard Hell

    Our Price: $13.00
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780062190833
    • Publisher: Ecco
    • Published: March 2013
    In this unforgettable coming-of-age story, the progenitor of American and British Punk Rock shares his remarkable journey, from his arrival on the streets of New York in 1967 to his rise to fame, touring with such bands as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, to his full-blown descent into drug addiction. 25,000 first printing.