Reviews

THE ORGANIC MAN DELIVERS

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A few years ago, several large corporations thought they sniffed
profits through Internet ordering and home delivery of groceries, but
most of them failed fairly quickly. That might have been because
consumers didn't consider the convenience worth the cost, although
Peapod, a corporate affiliate of Stop &Shop, still survives despite
a minimum delivery order of $50 and a minimum delivery charge of $4.95.


NEW iPODS NOT NECESSARILY IMPROVED

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The 15-gigabyte iPod introduced April 28 with a couple of cousins,
one bigger and one smaller, is impressive. It can hold and play back
thousands of songs, can perform somewhat like my Palm Pilot, is
formattable for either PCs or Macs, and is impossibly sleek and light.

I would probably want to run out and get myself one, if not for one
thing: I have a 10-gigabyte model from the line's first generation, and
it's better. After 10 days testing an Apple Corp. loaner, I can only
vouch for the first half of that American ideal, "new and improved."


AIMEE MANN GETS HELP FROM A FRIEND

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For years, Aimee Mann's sweet voice and her dark and brilliant lyrics have obscured the opportunities for strong electric guitar play in her music. On Tuesday night at Avalon, those opportunities fully flowered under the fingers of sideman Julian Coryell.

From a thrilling, reverberating, show-ending solo on "Long Shot" that was not deterred by his breaking a string to the subtle slide atmosphere he created for "Voices Carry," the 'Til Tuesday tune that Mann selected for her second encore, Coryell was the story of the evening.


A RICH HISTORY OF AA'S COFOUNDER

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From previous books, we know that Susan Cheever, a columnist for the Long Island newspaper Newsday, has suffered heavily under the yoke of alcohol, both as the child of author (and hard drinker) John Cheever and as an adventurous souse in her own right.

Perhaps this helps explain why, for her new book, she profiles history's most influential drunk, William Griffith Wilson, known to legions as Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous.


FOR ONE ADDICT, A SITCOM RINGS TRUE

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Viewers will have many reactions to "Starved," the situation comedy about compulsive eaters that debuts tonight at 10 on FX: It is raunchy, discomforting in spots, and uproariously funny.

But they should not come away thinking that people like the four
main characters Sam, Billie, Dan, and Adam don't exist. If you come away from the show thinking that way, you are wrong, pure and simple.

I can make such a fat-out statement because I'm one of them.


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