What the book lacks is objectivity. Not only does the author note that she never asked questions she felt would be unwelcome, she is awestruck to the point of obsequiousness. It is to the book’s and the readers’ detriment that her hero worship of her often grumpy subject is so glaring.
Think David Lodge meets Maggie Shipstead as Makkai’s suspenseful scene building and comic timing make “The Hundred-Year House” a captivating read.
Through the images, three strands of story emerge: that of Graham and his family; that of Eric, his art and his tragic marriage to a Catholic; and the anxieties of Jozef...the connections between the strands are so glancing that the tales seem to interrupt rather than supplement each other...
The chapters alternate between Cal’s point of view and Frida’s and are heavy on flashbacks that bog down an otherwise tense narrative of survival. This has the bones of an excellent book, but, sadly, an untenable amount of flab is covering them.
...there is much to admire here, from Weil’s characterization to his beautiful line drawings. “The Great Glass Sea” may sprawl, but better too much than too little.
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.
Plot takes a back seat to Gould’s razor-sharp humor and observations about life in New York among a class of young people...It’s also a delight to read a novel that places female friendship at its center...Perfect summer reading for people who’d rather stay in the city than go to the beach.
Certainly on this evidence, The Cuckoo's Calling was a calling card for a series that has legs. With up to seven books planned for Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott – the same as the Potter canon – Galbraith obviously feels the same.
...it doesn’t help us understand what actually happened in the past decade and how we might change policy for the better. The issues Eggers approaches may be serious, but their treatment is not.
The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the “unputdownable” novel.
Morris...earned Luce’s trust and access to more than 460,000 items in the restricted Luce Collection at the Library of Congress. Blonde, beautiful and glamorous...he took many lovers, with a special preference for men in uniform...Morris perceptively reveals the nightmare in this evenhanded and intimate portrait.
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.
It's understandable that the publishers of the Zhivago Affair are stressing the CIA's covert operation; but this is mainly a book about a brilliant, complicated and ultimately, very brave writer.
Few books about publishing manage to be this gripping. Like the novel which it takes as its subject, it deserves to be read.
Alan Furst’s novels have invoked glowing comparisons with Graham Greene for his idiosyncratic recreations of 1930s Europe; Midnight in Europe shows there is not the slightest diminution in his masterly command.
Rachman is well aware that what he’s created could easily fall into something twee and goofy, and while The Rise & Fall Of Great Powers is quite funny in places, there’s a darkness at its core that keeps the book grounded.
Coincidence and luck figure significantly in the final outcome, but King excels in his disturbing portrait of Brady, a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase “the banality of evil.”
The stories in The Book of Unknown Americans are engaging, readable, and poignant, but the quality of the writing is uneven. The thoughtfully titled The Book of Unknown Americans doesn’t quite live up to its name.
In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.
A sharply observed coming-of-age memoir about an aspiring writer’s entry-level job at a fading literary agency...Though Rakoff earned acclaim for her debut novel (A Fortunate Age, 2009), her memoir is more engaging, particularly for its mastery of tone.