While segments about the writing of groundbreaking works like Naked Lunch and heroin-fueled binges in Tangiers and Paris are satisfyingly voyeuristic, the biography is ultimately neither sensational enough to court controversy nor keen enough to be useful to future scholars.
It's a vivid metaphor, not just for these characters, but for all of us, writer and reader, an expression of our shared humanity. That was always the point of "Tales of the City," its heartbeat, which makes "The Days of Anna Madrigal" a fitting end.
A good time to read this book is when it’s freezing outside and there are about four months of winter left. You might be miserable at that prospect, but lose yourself in the Oh family and you’ll realise you’re pretty well-off.
The first half of the book, though, relies heavily on quotes from Burns's letters, often strung together with little transition or narrative logic.
...Abbott offers unforgettable glimpses into a community that has since left an indelible mark on both the literary and social histories of one of America’s most colorful cities.
...a prolonged and unsentimental backward glance...
Ms Heti’s mordant take on modernity encourages introspection. It is easy to see why a book on the anxiety of celebrity has turned the author into one herself.
These essays form a highly personal epilogue to "The Gospel Sound" and allow Mr. Heilbut to deploy a confessional mode that suits his elegy for a dying American art.
While many readers will admire her enthusiasm, a pronouncement of ultimate victory seems premature at best.
The volume will have particular appeal to readers of gender studies, but these stories ultimately prove that true partnership is gender blind.
Mr. Irving is unfailingly respectful and broad-minded in exploring these subjects...
This cri de coeur, which appears in a letter to her estranged daughter and grandchildren, suggests that Bornstein has made real sacrifices to follow her own advice, and can therefore dispense it with integrity.
. . .the timing couldn't be better for this enjoyable and well-sourced book, which — like Hockney's own work — is both conversational and perceptive.
Her honest insights make this a potent page-turner...
The conflicts enmeshing all these characters...are gripping, and Weiner’s elucidation of socio-economic determinism is as sharp as ever.
Maupin's alternately playful and sentimental tales depict an all-too-easily satirized population of transients and toffs living in and around San Francisco.
From the first page, readers are drawn into the stories, and despite the complexity of plot lines, we read quickly, driven to discover what will happen next.
The writing is not a standout. There are no passages that are memorable for creative beauty.
This book is rich in detail of both the essential normalcy and the difficulties of a young person with cerebral palsy.
It was part of life — not of my buttoned-up life, but of the noisy immigrant life made real in the pages of Betty Smith's novel — and it was sometimes a part that caused heartbreak or chaos.