There’s never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It’s exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable.
Although the reader wishes Ms. Rowling had lavished more of her own inventive Harry Potter skills in concocting Quine’s writings, she does do a nimble job of planting clues to the killer’s identity in the manuscript...
The area of Midtown Manhattan around Grand Central Terminal, with its host of landmark buildings, serves as the backdrop...The tour of Midtown, both above and below ground, is alone worth the price of admission.
Mr. Rachman doesn’t milk them. He doesn’t have to. This would be a much less potent book if it collapsed into a sob story.
You can practically hear King rubbing his hands together as Holly jostles herself into the center of the action, playing a critical role in the investigation but also, more substantially, providing the nerve, drive and jittery heart of the novel.
Carsick isn’t a straightforward On the Road clone, however. Waters impishly provides us with not only a day-by-day description of his actual hitchhike, but two novellas...
The only problem with this novel is that its covers are too close together. I wanted more of Slava, his bumpy love life, his venal grandfather, even Herr Barber.
Unsurprising but perfectly competent and seamlessly of a piece with her Living History (2003). And will Hillary run? The guiding metaphor of the book is the relay race, and there’s a sense that if the torch is handed to her, well….
A novel that is both a lot of fun to read and has plenty of insight into the marital bond and the human condition.
The author’s detractors will likely find fault, but this is a fitting cap to a sui generis career, equally satisfying in short installments or read straight through.
...this book should appeal to a wider audience. It underlines the need for intelligence-gathering by humans as well as by machines, and illustrates the gap between spying and policy.
What happens? Not much. But Mr. Kinney has a chance to describe several different strata of Dylan admirers, from those who’ll eat cherry pie because he did to those who know the first name of his maternal great-grandmother...The stories are innocent and not particularly interesting.
He says that the financial rescue programs enacted in the crisis years were a success because the alternative—which no one can ever know—would have been far worse. What we do know is that, six years later, the economy is suffering through a historically weak recovery and the emergency programs haven't ended.
If I were a different reader — a dental enthusiast, say, a Red Sox fan, a God seeker or an authority on alternate biblical history — each recurring obsession might have given me an electric jolt, and the book would have maintained momentum; the ending would have been a real revelation.
...it’s the author’s unflinching portrayal of Mireille’s shattered physical and psychological state once she’s rejoined her husband and infant son that is at once disturbing and frighteningly resonant.
This novel will be a piece of luck for anyone with a long plane journey or beach holiday ahead. It is such a page-turner, entirely absorbing: one of those books in which the talent of the storyteller surmounts stylistic inadequacies and ultimately defies one's better judgment.
It’s the “then some” throughout the novel that may irk a reader intent on a breezy read — or a salad. Yet real life is full of asides and detours, complications and random encounters. Reichl manages to make these “side dishes” essential to her story in a way that turns a romance mystery into a satisfying repast.
...the reader’s sense of hope soon fades as it is overwhelmed by the layers and layers of smell and soliloquy permeating the pages of Cunningham’s novel.
Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker’s intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card.
Much of this collection offers portraits of lives or moments in lives, abrupt pauses, interruptions, where contradiction, contrast and loss are the reigning components. Characters’ dilemmas hinge on misunderstanding, secrecy and the general perplexity and mortification of being a human.