Paul Collins

Latest Stories

  • 10 years ago

    Hollow-earth notions have worn a tinfoil hat for so long that it's easy to forget what a curious and distinguished lineage they have. While David Standish's Hollow Earth is, as he puts it, "the cultural history of an idea that was wrong and change...

  • 11 years ago

    Earlier this month the legendary Cody's Books in Berkeley announced that it was closing its doors for good. It's a grim if unsurprising development. The last decade has not been kind to the traditional corner bookshop. Battered by online discounts...

  • 11 years ago

    It's not often that a small-town paper in Wisconsin breaks a national scandal. That's probably why nobody much noticed this headline in the Pierce County Herald's May 26, 1999, issue: "Unethical Research: Stuttering Study Is Subject of Halvorson's...

  • 11 years ago

    The dreary 20th-century obituary—that résumé of family, degrees, job titles—has in two decades gone from glorified tombstone inscription to tipsy anecdotes recalled at a wake. Mortuary literature has become a surprisingly l...

  • 11 years ago

    George Harvey Bone, 34, doesn't have much. He doesn't have a job and he doesn't have a friend in all of London. What he does have are drinking buddies who barely conceal their contempt for him, an infatuation with a spiteful aspiring actress, and ...

  • 11 years ago

    I read nothing except the criminal news and the agony column," Sherlock Holmes once mused. Personal ads—what the British call the "agony column"—were, Doyle's detective observed, "surely the most valuable hunting ground that was ever giv...


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