Still, this isn’t Henry James and doesn’t aspire to be: it’s a rip-roaring beach read about literary life, the fools we make of ourselves in pursuit of love and fame, and the whirligig of time bringing in, as it always does, its revenges.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Aug 23 2018

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Gidla’s beautiful book, parts of which are as deeply absorbing as anything I’ve read, comes to this question of self-consciousness and how we think of and express ourselves from different directions.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Aug 02 2018

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But despite the blunders, missteps and excessive plot twists of “Welcome to Lagos,” its dialogue rings true.

NY Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Aug 02 2018

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It’s a knife-tip dissection of 21st-century anomie, and its clear-sighted depiction of muddy-headed people makes for bracing reading – like a dip in the freezing, salty sea.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Aug 01 2018

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Although both parts are interesting, I don’t quite agree with Frank’s overarching thesis that they are linked components of the same story. Isn’t the imperative to halt our possibly fatal march to annihilation via human-made environmental destruction the same regardless of extraterrestrial life?

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 30 2018

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This tight novel, made up of 10 parts and 65 compact chapters, employs a non-linear narrative, moving between England in 1936 and the Dominican childhood of Gwendolen, his protagonist, with forays into the intervening years. There is no shortage of biographical material on Rhys.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 27 2018

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Looking for truth in the courtroom sense in Sedaris’s essays has always been a mug’s game, missing the point. Truthfulness, though – emotional, spiritual – he’s always traded on these. And with Calypso, he’s given us his most truthful work yet.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Jul 26 2018

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"Give Me Your Hand" is a nuanced and atmospheric story about the lure of big dreams, especially for women. It's also a story about the unpredictable power of dreams to suddenly turn into dead ends.

NPR

Rating Good

Reviewed on Jul 24 2018

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Hermione Hoby captures it all in her debut novel, Neon in Daylight, a smart, shimmering study of youthful self-discovery and the power of place, unfurling over the course of a single summer in the city.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 23 2018

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But here in this new collection of stories I’m having a problem. It feels as if it’s to do with liking the characters, but perhaps it’s just that the rhythm of the writing has lost its elasticity somewhere.

Guardian

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jul 21 2018

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Lal’s book is an act of feminist historiography. Beyond its excavation of the achievements of a queen deliberately “effaced from the record”, it usefully portrays Nur Jahan as an imperfect character, though an exceptionally courageous one.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Sep 05 2018

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Caroline’s Bikini is the long-winded story of Emily loving Evan loving Caroline – and although it might seem unlikely, given the convolutions of the writing, it turns out to be a really superb, very readable novel. I suppose I am, you know, hopelessly in love with it.

Guardian

Rating Excellent

Reviewed on Jul 19 2018

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Brilliantly constructed, “The Shades” is ghostly and alive, cerebral and sensuous, an absolutely riveting read.

LA Times

Rating Excellent

Reviewed on Jul 18 2018

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Handled with less inventive prose, a book like this might feel like a series of Stephen King-ish portraits of small people being horrible. But McGregor’s too inventive a writer not to dazzle and surprise, to create moments that confound and stir.

LA Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Aug 03 2018

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...but ultimately, as much as they yearn for it, none of the novel’s central characters really deserve easy absolution. And yet the beautiful writing and nuanced storytelling invites compassion; such is the power of Kwon’s narrative.

LA Times

Rating Good

Reviewed on Aug 09 2018

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This whole section is reminiscent of Tyler’s best work, such as Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Unfortunately, the dark edge of Clock Dance’s early pages soon gives way to a much more sentimental narrative.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Aug 18 2018

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She takes us back to the ground – to all the terrible, fragile, human detail, so that its victims and survivors can be seen as they are, made painfully of flesh and blood.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Aug 10 2018

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That is one of several noble notions in this book. Everyone who still believes we can rescue the republic should embrace all of them. “Hope really is a choice,” says the author, “and a practical habit.”

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 29 2018

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My other beef is that the descriptions of bike-racing, where Reed strives for transcendence, are filled with false notes that will jar true cycling fans among his readers.

NY Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jul 27 2018

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Spiced with foreshadowings, packed with big issues from Aids to the rise of the far right, and tempered by strategic reticence, this novel compels the reader’s attention as consistently as it entertains.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Jul 25 2018

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Dongala has written an unrelentingly bleak story, occasionally lightened by Mad Dog's laughable pronouncements, and he grabs us from the start with a language that is rude and raw (Mad Dog's) and lyrical (Laokolé's) in Maria Louise Ascher's translation from the author's French.

NY Times

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 24 2018

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Bergman’s style tends to the sensational but that does not mask a critical strand that questions the morality and effectiveness of Israel’s approach to dealing with the enemy in its own backyard.

Guardian

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 22 2018

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Jen’s relationships with her elder daughter and her own mother get less page time in “Whistle,” but they are equally credible. In fact, the only underdrawn character is Jen’s husband/Lana’s dad. He does have a name, but it’s barely worth recalling...

Star Tribune

Rating Above average

Reviewed on Jul 20 2018

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The plot? Not this novel’s particular strength. Although the setups are plausible and gripping, characters make too many credulity-straining choices that are explicable only in the contrived service of heightening drama...Still, Karjel offers ample pleasures along the way.

NY Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jul 19 2018

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There There itself is a kind of dance. Even in its tragic details, it is lyrical and playful, shaking and shimmering with energy. The novel dips into the tiniest personal details and sweeps across history.

Guardian

Rating Good

Reviewed on Jul 18 2018

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Similar, too, is a generalizing tendency, where Fox’s historical knowledge skates on thin ice...These are small matters, however, against a bigger picture of a world on the cusp of modernity...

NY Times

Rating Below average

Reviewed on Jul 17 2018

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