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.
J.K. Rowling, under her Galbraith pseudonym, again demonstrates her adroitness at crafting a classic fair-play whodunit in a contemporary setting, peopled with fully realized primary and secondary characters.
Owen’s sentence-by-sentence prose is extraordinarily polished—a noteworthy feat for a 500-page debut—and she packs many surprises into her tale, making it a book for readers to lose themselves in.
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.
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is itself a strange book that demands some patience on the part of a reader, particularly the patience to allow yourself to be mystified for long stretches. Its pleasures are almost architectural...
...without spoiling the fun of reading this excellent addition to King's growing list of mystery-thriller titles, there's even a small hint that the Mr. Mercedes show may go on — a scary thought indeed.
Face it: Wouldn’t you rather strike out on the road with John Waters than Jack Kerouac? If the answer is yes, then this book is for you, even if Waters...the ever-flamboyant auteur-(Pink Flamingos, Hairspray et al) turned-writer, takes his sweet time getting going.
With this rich trove of material her book is at times funny, warm, emotional — a sort of personal bildungsroman that powerfully evokes both the angst of early adulthood and life in literary New York in the mid-1990s.
King is brilliant on the moral contradictions that propelled anthropological encounters with remote tribes — a volatile mix of liberal high-mindedness, stoicism, hubris and greed.
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.
Clinton's calculated mix of soaring rhetoric and tacit realpolitik reveals much, but not everything.
...The Vacationers really is perfect summer reading: a beautifully written story that’s neither too depressing nor too charming, one that contains all the aching emptiness of wanting children or sex or companionship. It’s like sitting on a perfect sandy beach and knowing there’s jellyfish in the water, waiting to sting.
There are many nice moments in “Tibetan Peach Pie.” (Explaining the title is not worth the effort.) But it’s mostly a string of anecdotes; the author doesn’t reach deep for genuine self-examination. His similes sometimes work; just as often, they’re a professional charmer’s determined overkill.
The book’s title alludes to Karel Gott...and the relationship between art and politics is a running theme, with due reverence for those who kept their integrity. Szczygiel’s absorbing, offbeat history celebrates the truths they defended against oppression.
“The Good Spy” provides a fresh and grainy view of the rise of organizations like Hezbollah, and of figures like Osama bin Laden. It allows us to meet in Ames a quiet but strong personality, a man whose fundamental decency allowed him to see both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clearly.
In the end, none of these die-hard fans comes closer to finding the real Dylan, but they discover over and over just why Dylan’s music means so much to them.
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.
...the distinction between belief and ritual, but if Ferris means to make a larger point about community, he doesn't fully pull it off. In the end, though, it's a problem that, if not minor, doesn't derail the book.
Gay has created a straightforward style and defiant voice that drive Mireille's recollections. Her captivity experience is suspenseful, immediate and at times mercilessly realistic.
What’s unexpected about its impact is that the novel does not regard Europeans’ wartime experience in a new way. Instead, Mr. Doerr’s nuanced approach concentrates on the choices his characters make and on the souls that have been lost, both living and dead.