Culture

Murray, KY – "Life was not always easy," could very well be a universal truism when reflecting on past generations. Commentator Duane Bolin has a new lease on life after a near-death experience. We continue his series of commentaries with a lens on the past, memories of an insurance man in Arlington, Kentucky and the poem, "Abu Ben Adhem" by James Henry Leigh.

Murray, KY – Michael Cohen peeks through the pages of an uncommon mystery about a detective story set in an alternative history version of the present day. It's Michael Chabon's award-winning novel "The Yiddish Policemen's Union."

Surely it is an uncommon mystery novel that wins four top awards for science fiction. But what interested the award committees was not a future of space ships and time travel, but rather what Michael Chabon does with the past.

Murray, KY – Now that the students have returned to Murray State and classes are in full swing, we take off our summer shades and don our thinking caps. Commentator Michael Cohen peeks through the pages of the mathematical mystery, The Oxford Murders, by Argentinean novelist and professor of mathematical logic, Guillermo Martinez.

Murray, KY – Mystery fans recently celebrated the 90th birthday of award-winning novelist P.D. James (August 3). James is most famous for her iconic poet-policeman Adam Dalgliesh. Her most recent book, published in 2009, is a work of literary cricitism, titled Talking about Detective Fiction. Fellow mystery critic Michael Cohen peeks through the pages of this "entertaining" analysis of the genre.

Murray, KY – For television fanatics, the summer months can be long, grueling and disorienting. While production companies ready their fall season line-ups, viewers are left with a seemingly endless stream of re-runs. As an antidote for this summer affliction, Commentator Doctor Brian Clardy recommends turning to television shows of the past, and digs out a classic British series about an eccentric barrister named Horace Rumpole.

A scene from Rumpole of the Bailey - "Taming the Bull"

Murray, KY – Last Friday, SyFy welcomed viewers to Haven, a new television series based on the based on the Stephen King novel, The Colorado Kid. The publisher of that book and one of the producers for the series is Charles Ardai, the award-winning writer who penned The Good Neighbor Policy, a poem written in double dactyl form. It might just be the only criminal case in mystery in history written with such complicated commitment. Mystery fan Michael Cohen peeks through the pages.

Murray, KY – If you went to the county fair, or almost any other event last Fourth of July, you probably heard at least one rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Commentator Robert Valentine says he loves America's anthem as much as anyone here in the Land of the Free, but he does take umbrage when singers needlessly dress it up on the stage.

Murray, KY – Many folks have made it their tradition to celebrate Independence Day with relatives close and distant. If you're one of those distant relatives, that means traveling home for the holiday. Commentator and Poet Constance Alexander recently visited her childhood home of Metuchen, New Jersey and observed, as you may this weekend, that over many years, some things have changed and some things have stayed the same.

Murray, KY – Commentator Michael Cohen peeks through the pages of Moth, an uncommon mystery by James Sallis about an existential detective investigating the death of an old love on New Orleans' mean streets.

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