The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 231

Late Fall 2012

Twelve Great and Rare Novels
Over the years, we've tried
to find works of fiction that
were being been ignored by the
establishment literary reviewers.
Here are a baker's dozen,
obscure favorites culled from
the more than 400 novels that
we've reviewed (and loved).

Seekers and Travellers
"You should attack the book
with a fine razor,
cut out the most lovely
of the reproductions,
trim them exactly,
frame them and
hang them on the wall."

"A Laureate who
can write in all good seriousness
there is a garden in her face
and not be tarred and feathered and
run out of town on a rail tells us
that something may be seriously awry in
the country that gave us Kit Marlowe,
Andrew Marvell, John Keats,
Wilfred Owen and Ted Hughes."

"My father worked for the CIA.
He never divulged his secrets.
His secrets have informed my life.
His secrets I do not know.
There is probably horror behind those secrets.
It is not possible to heal from such horror.
It is only possible to go on."

Hidden America
"The caretakers, the nannies,
the maids, the sisters
and the surrogate sisters,
the mothers and the
surrogate mothers,
all those people tending hearts."

Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah
"No man gon' reach
down, just scoop up moon, even if Mr. Cronkite say he did.
Them white men way out in a desert somewhere, stumbling
round in them blowed-up suits with movie stuff back a' them
laughing inside those glass heads."

Kind One
"I am fond of
obscurantist writing and
have spent many happy hours
puzzling out Faulkner or Joyce
or Beckett but when the obscurity
gets in the way of the plot
one can get lost and just give up."

"My faves are the
flap-necked chameleon
which looks like my Uncle Fred with dewlaps
and the Trioceros hoennelii which
looks like Woody Allen
on a bad day."

Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails
"At this point,
a reader with better things to do
might be asking why we are obliged
to spend any time at all with
Dear Old Dad and his decidedly crabby son,
especially with a prodigious amount of time
with the old man as he
cleans out his respiratory system.

Great Reviews of the Past
"Howl got the ultimate accolade
in the community where it was born.
Someone called the cops to
bust City Lights for publishing it.
Perfect: the cops came, arrested Ferlinghetti
for obscenity, he and Ginsberg become stars."


This winter, we will have on hand
a boxed-set double hardback ---
over 900 pages ---
The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
which contains more than
200 reviews, poems,
readings, and articles from
the first eighteen years of RALPH.
If you want to know more, please click here:
and you will find more than enough information
about our latest escapade.

Carol Ann Duffy

Spark in My Heart

Crick Levels

Cryptic Letter of the Month
Kufic Stone-Inscriptions

Great Articles from
"The Noisiest Book Review
In the Known World"

My Brilliant Career
"I no longer enjoy the services
of a full-time cat at my home,
but I do have two visiting cats who
come to work part-time."

We Need Two Suns
"How to keep
this family afloat.
Eating right
and sleeping."

The Rolls-Royce of Landfills
"This is a 100-million-ton solid soup of
diapers, Doritos bags, phone books,
shoes, carrots, watermelon rinds,
boats, shredded tires, coats, stoves,
couches, Biggie fries, piled up right here
off the I-605 freeway."

Thief of Tongue
"Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to the warm expanse
of the red-dust woman, who arrived with a little sin
and all the good wrong words. I dream her breathless,
maybe leaning forward a little in her seat on the Greyhound.
I ain't never seen, she begins, grinning through the grime
at Chicago, city of huge shoulders, thief of tongues."


All the back-issues of RALPH,
including titles of books under review,
along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
since 1994.

of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

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T H E  F A C T S
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Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over thirty years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent
Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

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