Finkel appears to have been quite conscientious in writing “The Stranger in the Woods.” He provides notes on sources. He gives the names of his (two!) fact-checkers. But it’s hard not to notice that he’s chosen a story that is, in some sense, impossible to completely nail down.
Many have tried to assess Ike. Few succeed. Mr. Baier does, with the inspired selection of the closing event of Ike’s presidency as a touchstone in a passionate search for the diverse, complex and energizing “spirit of Ike.”
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.
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.
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.
Mr. S offers a curious sort of double-voyeurism, with Jacobs inviting readers to vicariously experience his own vicarious access to the life of one of pop-culture's preeminent icons. Sinatra's story is so compelling and larger-than-life, though, that even a secondhand account like Jacobs' packs a powerful punch.
...movie buffs will find her scholarship wanting, if not mystifying. Not only are there few new insights (Spielberg declined to be interviewed, which left Haskell “stung, a little red-faced, like a girl angling for a date and being rejected”), but the points she makes range from dubious to flat-out false.
“Commonwealth” is not a saga, but rather, a succession of vignettes making up the life journeys taken by the Fix and Cousins children, with Franny as the main focal point. It is a fine mix of storytelling, satire, compassion and humor.
L’Ouverture nonetheless showed himself to be those men’s superior, philosophically, politically and militarily — a point made by C.L.R. James that survives mostly intact in Philippe Girard’s sophisticated and anti-mythological biography.
Lewis is the ideal teller of the story. Dating to his 1989 debut, “Liar’s Poker,” about the Wall Street boom of that decade, he has displayed a rare combination for a writer. He immerses himself in big ideas...
In a recent New Yorker essay, Saunders wrote that “literature is a form of fondness-for-life. It is love for life taking verbal form,” and this love suffuses Lincoln in the Bardo. This is a novel that’s so intimate and human, so profound, that it seems like an act of grace.
In reinterpreting the tales so faithfully and with such abundant joy, Gaiman assumes the role of fireside bard, inviting us to sit close on a chilly winter’s night and chuckle and wonder along with him.
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.
Unfortunately, the latter parts of The Bear and the Nightingale shear away much of what I loved about its beginning and middle...These problems aside, The Bear and the Nightingale is a pleasure to spend time with. A rich and elegant debut...
Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.
I did not enjoy this collection. Enjoyment is beside the point. One does not enjoy being shown the child in Omelas' basement. But it's crucial to see, crucial to negotiate one's position to that child with clear eyes. I admire the achievement of this collection greatly...