Unsurprisingly, Darnielle's prose is lucid and precise, the sort of clear-eyed, knife-jab sentences that defined both his debut Wolf in White Van and his whole songwriting career.

NPR

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Feb 11 2017

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While “Shadowbahn” is a more complicated (and sometimes more interesting) novel than Erickson’s previous ones, its concerns are as genuine as its characters — believable people traveling through a degenerating political landscape while trying to remember how they got to where they are before they reach the end of the road.

LA Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Feb 10 2017

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The meaning of civil war, as Mr Armitage shows, is as messy and multifaceted as the conflict it describes. His book offers an illuminating guide through the 2,000-year muddle and does a good job of filling a conspicuous void in the literature of conflict.

The Economist

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 09 2017

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His hope is that readers will feel compelled to retell these stories. He doesn’t mention something else, but I can hear it in his voice, something we could all use a little more of just now, in the dark: delight.

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on May 15 2017

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...if everyone could adopt the level of healthy statistical scepticism that Mr Levitin would like, political debate would be in much better shape. This book is an indispensable trainer.

The Economist

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 04 2017

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It may seem incongruous to call a novel as violent as “Days Without End” dreamlike, but Barry’s narrator is a gentle witness to brutality: neither reluctant nor rabid, but a semi-willing instrument — which is to say, like most of those who participate in war.

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Feb 03 2017

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The numerous shifts are occasionally jolting, but what is gained is a compassionate, clear gaze at the chaotic landscape of life itself. In this haunting epic tale, no one story seems too minor to be briefly illuminated.

NY Times

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 02 2017

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What is Auster up to here? After slogging through “4 3 2 1” it’s still difficult to say. There isn’t enough ambition in the narrative message to justify the page length, and all along I thought to myself: Auster is smarter than this.

LA Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Feb 02 2017

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Even if his own Southern white do-gooder bias occasionally peeks out from behind the otherwise elegant and sophisticated prose, Tyson effectively recasts the killing of an innocent black boy, re-investigates the subsequent trial that took place...

LA Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Mar 03 2017

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A little more clear-eyed realism might have redeemed this novel, but as it stands, it reads like the screenplay to some heartwarmingly twee movie with a ukulele soundtrack. It's a misstep by a writer who's capable of much better writing than this.

NPR

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jan 29 2017

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In his work, Chabon consistently shows unusual affection for his characters. They may be flawed individuals, but their virtues are bestowed generously and their difficulties are lightened by the author’s optimistic sympathy.

Financial Times

Rating Good

Reviewed on Jan 27 2017

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Rowe is not a truly bad writer. But she enters into a world of pain and violence and comes away only with a book about herself.

NPR

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jan 26 2017

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“The Patriots” is a historical romance in the old style: multigenerational, multinarrative, intercontinental, laden with back stories and historical research, moving between scrupulous detail and sweeping panoramas...

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 24 2017

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This volume delves into philosophical and spiritual quandaries as the creatures struggle for context and understanding. Throw in the new layers of Atlantis folklore and the mysterious new immortals and you’ve got one of Rice’s most imaginative tales yet.

Star Tribune

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 10 2017

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This is Mr Saunders’s first novel, but he has been producing prizewinning short fiction for decades...With Donald Trump leading the “party of Lincoln”, values previously considered untouchable are now up for debate, and these themes are in sharper focus than ever.

The Economist

Rating Good

Reviewed on Mar 23 2017

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Hayes has now written a memoir of his own, “Insomniac City.” It’s a loving tribute to Sacks and to New York. He provides tender insights into living with both. But Sacks was by far the more eccentric of his two loves.

NY Times

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 08 2017

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We may never know if these sketches were drawn by Van Gogh. Fortunately, most people like a good mystery — and this one could endure for many years.

Washington Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Feb 06 2017

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Sims combines extensive scholarship with excellent writing and organizational skills to produce a work that is not only informative but eminently readable.

Star Tribune

Rating Good

Reviewed on Feb 03 2017

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In some respects, Oates’s bet pays off...Oates’s lengthy attempt at insights into these lives devolves into dehumanizing caricature.

NY Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Feb 16 2017

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Kolhatkar, a staff writer for The New Yorker and a former hedge fund analyst, expertly synthesizes an enormous amount of material, including court documents and hundreds of her own interviews.

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Feb 01 2017

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This is the theme which holds the sprawling book together. Smaller and more playful ideas spangle the talk of some of the intellectuals in its pages...

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 31 2017

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Mr. Judd has understandably based his novel on the more accepted version of reality and made good use of it as a canvas for embellishing and enlightening.

Washington Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 30 2017

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This history is usually very welcome, but sometimes infuriatingly meandering, the author’s century-spanning chains of associations stretching well past the point where many readers will want to follow. But it is nonetheless worth sticking with...

The Economist

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 28 2017

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It is the memoir of an addiction still going on, being negotiated everyday. There is, however, a noble Afterword in which Marnell shares the progress she’s made and slyly admonishes those who revel in and exploit the cool Manhattan party stories but disregard the pain that accompanies them.

Globe and Mail

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 27 2017

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In the book's last third, coincidence and cliché play an unfortunately large role. But such quibbles miss the point. This is a page-turner, an opera, a costume drama to binge watch. Simon Tolkien knows how to keep a story moving, and he does it well.

NPR

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 24 2017

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“Hemingway at War” is about much more than Hemingway, offering what some might think of as padding, but I found Mr. Mort’s character sketches and descriptions of momentous events that were the backdrop to the Hemingway story to be interesting and informative.

Washington Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jan 23 2017

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