...for every duff or unhinged sentence there is a moment or passage of human metaphysics beautifully distilled...
"In the Kingdom of Ice" has two relatively minor flaws, sins of omission, as it were...But overall, the book is a marvelous nonfiction thriller.
"The Invisible Bridge" is surely not the last word on the events of 1973-76, but it would be hard to top it for sheer entertainment value.
Gripping and as well-crafted as an episode of Smiley’s People, full of cynical inevitability, secrets, lashings of whiskey and corpses.
A hoot and a half, and then some: hands down, the best island farce since Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle half a century ago.
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.
Macy gives globalization a fresh new perspective in the larger-than-life figure of John Bassett III, who hoped to persuade the furniture industry to support him in filing a petition against China for “dumping” products at artificially low prices.
A creative who's also worked on the other side of the business as a label owner, Stanley digs too into the rise of music's ancillary industries, such as the pop press ("consumers wanted … to feel closer to their idols," he writes) and music-based television programming...
Makkai’s (The Borrower) second novel is a lively and clever story starring an estate with an intricate history...The book is exceptionally well constructed, with engaging characters busy reinventing themselves throughout, and delightful twists that surprise and satisfy.
The mystery is why Seiffert doesn’t make more of this contemporary aspect of her novel. Jozef is given his own story, one that perhaps too neatly echoes Graham’s (he is also suffering from marital woes), but it is frustratingly thin. It is as though Seiffert can’t quite find enough room for that strand of her narrative.
Lepucki's cautious dystopia never quite asks the right questions of us, ultimately to the detriment of the novel.
Her characters are instantly lovable, and the story moves quickly and only a little predictably...adult fans will love Rowell’s return to a story close to their hearts. The realities of a grown-up relationship are leavened by the buoyancy and wonder of falling in love all over again.
...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.
Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.
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.
...the trip is worth making. Freediving fascinates, and Nestor uses vivid, visual prose, a sense of humor and a fat travel allowance to introduce readers to its customs, habitués and scenery.
With "The Silkworm" and "The Cuckoo's Calling," one might be tempted to say, Robert Galbraith has announced himself as a fresh voice in mystery fiction: part hard-boiled, part satiric, part poignant and part romantic.
Composed entirely of dialogue, the latest from Eggers (The Circle) is more tedious deposition than gripping drama...There are flashes of sardonic humor and revelations about the triggering event behind the kidnappings, but by then readers will feel as if they themselves have been detained far too long.
...it’s baggy and loose, at times too much, at times not enough, but driven by sharp storytelling, thought-provoking ideas, and strong characters. It might take a bit for a contemporary reader, used to the comparatively sleek design of most modern fiction, to adjust, but the effort is amply repaid.
Fortunately, Ms Morris is not overwhelmed by the melodrama of Luce’s life. She had unparalleled access to her subject before Luce’s death in 1987 and to her papers (all 460,000 of them) in the Library of Congress. The result is a portrait of a woman gifted with intelligence and drive...