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.
As restless, and as sly, as the mythical Proteus, she nimbly remakes her novel at every turn — but she does so with another goal in mind. Sometimes, she seems to say, the only way to get your mind around the past is just to step ahead to a new beginning.
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.
“The Great Glass Sea” is not an alternative history, then, but a fantastical vision inspired by bits and pieces of Russian language, history and culture. It is beautifully baffled by the mysterious Russian soul.
Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.
...Ms. Gould does a credible job of evoking her two self-absorbed heroines’ daily existence, hoping that noncommittal boyfriends might turn into more perfect mates, hoping that terrible temp jobs are really temporary pit stops on the way to some sort of real vocation.
By page 400-plus, the reader is eager for a resolution, and it comes as a bit of a surprise, as it should. For my money, Rowling has mastered her new genre impressively.
There are moments of dark musicality, and Eggers’s concern with the abuse of power is resonant. But the novel is hollowed out by its main character’s mixture of apocalyptic gloom and repetitive pedantry.
The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the “unputdownable” novel.
This full, warts-and-all biography hauls her back into the limelight and does her full justice. When she first laid eyes on Ms. Morris, her shrewd old instincts were exactly right.
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 derring-do–packed history of “one of the first efforts by the CIA to leverage books as instruments of political warfare.”...A fast-paced political thriller about a book that terrified a nation.
Few books about publishing manage to be this gripping. Like the novel which it takes as its subject, it deserves to be read.
As always, Furst is a master of atmosphere, re-creating those prewar days so vividly we can almost imagine that we, like the characters, operate in the dark at midnight, unaware of what happens next...
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.
The scariest thing of all is to imagine King writing a happy children’s book. This isn’t it: It’s nicely dark, never predictable and altogether entertaining.
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.
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...
Over the course of her year at the Agency, Joanna—who is now a poet, journalist, critic, and prize-winning novelist—“finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s.”...You’ll have to read her beautifully crafted memoir...