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Then & Now

10/31/2011 11:17AM ● Published by Style

ALBUMS

THEN:

New YorkLou Reed

Lou Reed’s time with seminal, art-school rockers Velvet Underground secured him legendary status, but solo works like Transformer and 1989’s New York earned him further poet laureate credibility. Songs like “Dirty Blvd.” and “Dime Store Mystery” are still as personal and resonant today as they were over 20 years ago. If Dylan was an aged single-malt Scotch drunk out of a paper bag, he’d be Lou Reed.

NOW:

Lulu Lou Reed & Metallica

Album of the decade or train wreck? Lou Reed and Metallica team up to interpret, of all things, a German play. Music critics are bending over backwards to praise the album to the heavens. Is the emperor clothed? We’re not sure. But on paper, the collaboration sounds too incredible to miss. Curiosity alone rates this album a mention.

—Sharon Penny


BOOKS

THEN:

The Voyage by Philip Caputo

Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of War, brings a sweeping nautical mystery with fascinating results. From the captivating opening in 1900 where a gruff, wealthy father puts his three young sons on the family schooner and orders them to leave Maine. To where? That is for them to decide. And that is only the first in a series of epic adventures and fortune-reversals in The Voyage that will keep you engrossed right to the very end.

NOW:

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

Acclaimed author of The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje returns with a mesmerizing novel of childhood adventure and captivating mystery. Set aboard an England-bound ship from Colombo in the early ’50s, we follow an 11-year-old protagonist through the mysteries he discovers aboard that great ship and those he carries with him into adulthood. Spellbinding, spectacular and sweeping…in true Ondaatje form.

—Sharon Penny


FILMS

THEN:

The Hangover

Forget the thin attempt to recapture the magic that was The Hangover in the inexcusable sequel, and watch (or re-watch for the 1,000th time) the far better original. The ensemble comedy, starring a then terrifically talented group of unknowns, came out of nowhere to breathe new life into a been-there-done-that genre.

NOW:

Bridesmaids

It takes a group of absolutely hilarious women to reinvent and, in this case, beat, man’s cinematic domain: the raunchy comedy. But the sidesplitting Bridesmaids – led by standouts Kristen Wiig and Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy – does exactly that while infusing the film with a kind of oddball sympathy that really works. Bravo, ladies!

—Jenn Thornton

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