Boston-area arts letters

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Another Davies dodge

I read and enjoyed Geoff Edgers’s review of Ray Davies’s book, “Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story” (“Working out the Kinks? Sadly, no.,” g, Nov. 1).

Reading the promos and previews of the book, I am absolutely certain that his description is accurate. It’s the reason I don’t wish to read the book. I know it was considered unthoughtful to enjoy Dave Davies’s “Kink,” but it was a much better and more valuable contribution to autobiographical literature than Ray’s strained, obscure (although kind of fascinating) “X-Ray.” “Americana” just seems like such a wasted, unnecessary effort.

I love the Kinks and Ray’s work, and have enjoyed his interviews going back now what seems like centuries, but I’ve grown tired of reading his dodging/weaving/dissembling accounts of his life and work. Edgers is absolutely right — you can always return the publisher’s advance.



Berwyn, PA

Gilbert was our TV guide

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It was with a heavy heart that I opened g knowing that Matthew Gilbert is no longer the Globe’s TV critic. He has had an impact on my life for years. My husband and I don’t watch a lot of television, so we need to be selective. Gilbert has saved us a lot of time by sorting through and rating what’s on TV. His writing is honest, funny, and very good, and I’ll look forward to his book reviews and other articles.



Editor’s note: Matthew Gilbert, formerly the Globe’s television critic, will now be writing book reviews and features about the Greater Boston literary community. Sarah Rodman will take over as the Globe’s chief TV critic.

Twice the pleasure

I enjoyed Sebastian Smee’s piece about the Worcester Art Museum’s Old Masters exhibit (“New look at Old Masters in Worcester exhibit,” SundayArts, Oct. 27). I’ll definitely have to go, if only to check out their version of Rembrandt’s St. Bartholomew. I was absolutely transfixed and humbled before another version of his St. Bartholomew at the Getty last week. I was astonished as well by the soulful depth of this rendering and could easily spend half a day or more in his presence. Perhaps Smee has had that distinct pleasure at the Getty himself.





I’m offering a respectful “boo” on Marc Hirsh’s review of the Josh Groban concert (“Groban’s clean, unambiguous pop lacks wit and charm,” Metro, Oct. 29). I loved it, as did everyone near me. His review didn’t represent the experience of most of us there. Boo.



Halloween, but just barely

I was just researching around-the-world Halloween celebrations in preparation for a brief television interview, and read the Boston Globe piece “Tricks and treats” by Katharine Whittemore (SundayArts, Oct. 27). I just want to tell you that it made my night to read something so well-crafted. Indeed, Halloween is “moribund in Australia” and its neighbor New Zealand, where I expatriated a couple of years ago. It’s my American perspective that the interviewers want to tap into here, as the holiday is starting to gain commercial traction. “Moribund” is such a perfect word and a perfect description.


Auckland, New Zealand

Curiosity piqued

Thanks to Jeremy Eichler for his excellent writing on Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” (“Sound and stone,” SundayArts, Nov. 3). His story was a bit of a revelation as I had no idea “Requiem” incorporated Wilfred Owen’s verse. This alone makes me want to listen to the work of Britten. I will seek out works like “War Requiem” in the future, chiefly because Eichler has made it seem much more accessible.




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