Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.
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.
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...
Good book? Hell, yes. Good Stephen King book? Absolutely. When judging it purely as a thriller, that will depend on taste. The truth is that King transcends genre...
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.
...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.
...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 avoids the pat outcome of a Disney tale and, in an emotional and unforeseen twist, does the Grimms one better. In this fable, the princess and a wicked witch relate to each other as real women do, and ultimately rescue each other.
Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.
...Ruth Reichl's first novel, is about as subtle as a Ring Ding...This confection might play better with Young Adult readers.
...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.
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.
What follows is a time-shifting story of Houdini’s life and death that can’t seem to distinguish incredible fantasy from prosaic truth...to be fair, it is often hard to separate the two extremes...The Confabulist, for all its methodical sense of misdirection, doesn’t amaze.
Otherwise, this is a sure-footed and intelligently organised collection. It begins with an older couple planning their financial future...At its centre lies the title story, a grimly compelling account of an affair...Arranged as they are, these small pieces nevertheless encompass an extensive emotional territory.
...it's no knock on this novel to declare that it mostly reads as a good story and an ingenious excursion into the Parisian demimonde. Prose here concocts a bright confection — a light, but genuine pleasure.
...she uses this mourning to show us, again and again, just how proximate joy is to its antithesis...In this restorative, unforgettable collection, she allows that paradox to go both ways.
Allende has clearly enjoyed providing rich elaborations that don't particularly advance the story . . . Each of her characters finds ’something different . . . the same may not be said of readers who enjoy Allende’s fiction.
A multifaceted cast of characters, a plot twist involving the legendary Romanovs, and plenty of sensual romance will keep readers riveted.
Simpson tells her story in a tight, first-person narrative, sometimes forcing her to maneuver Miles into unlikely eavesdropping situations to communicate necessary information. She seems a little uncomfortable at times speaking in the voice of a young male instead of her usual female characters...