Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Devil Problem and other True Stories

Posted on

The Devil Problem and Other True Stories

Current Status:
In Season
David Remnick
Essays, Pop Culture

We gave it an A

The 18 essays in The Devil Problem and other True Stories aren’t about the disintegration of the Soviet empire, the subject of David Remnick’s acclaimed first book, Lenin’s Tomb. But he’s still interested in declines and falls: the decline of journalism, for instance, as reflected in a withering glance at USA Today (”Good News is No News”). The self-engineered tumbles of politicians like Gary Hart and Mario Cuomo. The descent of cities like Belfast and Washington, D.C., into chaos, as seen through the smoke and mirrors of Gerry Adams and the crack fumes and mirrors of Marion Barry. Remnick catches a baseball player on a downward trajectory (Reggie Jackson) and follows writers through exile and loss (Ralph Ellison, Elaine Pagels) — subtly shaded character sketches but also fables of recklessness, deception, and ultimately, redemption. A