Shorter <em>New York Times Book Review</em>

A little late this time …..

A glowing review by Larry McMurtry of the Bill Clinton memoir that covers the front page and two pages inside besides (“Some people don’t want Bill Clinton to have written a book that might be as good as dear, dying General Grant’s”). Not atonement for the scathing Michiko Kakutani review a few weeks ago (because it is running so late). But what is it? Very strange.

A full-page ad for the troubled Jonathan Demme remake of John Frankenheimer’s “Manchurian Candidate.” (Plus a half-page ad for “Fahrenheit 9/11.”)

A review of a new book by Franklin Foer that compares soccer and globalization.

A withering letter by the 80-year-old Ned Rorem that calls Bob Dylan “the singer charmless and rasping, Dylan the poet sophomoric and obvious, and Dylan the composer banal and unmemorable,” and derides the recent article about Dylan by Lucinda Williams as a “giggly postscript.”

Rick Perlstein, the writer of one of the best political histories of recent years, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, rips Josh Chafetz a new one for daring to compare Thomas Frank and Ann Coulter.

A review of a novel by Margaret Mazzantini says that “we expect unexpected reversals nowadays.” A review of Louise Erdrich’s new novel says that the book’s plot “feels natural and unforced, full of satisfying yet unexpected twists.” (One of the novel’s protagonists also “seems grasping yet is … unexpectedly selfless.”) So which is it?