The Martian is true in that sense to the genre, in its manufacture and resolution of suspense carried on to the final pages.
Intense character studies complement the realistic plot. Hawkins creatively uses the unreliable narrator as “The Girl on the Train” alternates among the first-person recollections of Rachel, Anna and Megan. What each of these women doesn’t know about the other - and what they have surmised about each other’s lives - make for an energized story.
In my reviews of King’s previous two books, I’ve criticized their length, annoyed with their narrative bulk and frustrated by their excessive back stories, but in this book the tangents are tight, the characters compelling and the suspense, well, it will take your breath away.
What’s unexpected about its impact is that the novel does not regard Europeans’ wartime experience in a new way. Instead, Mr. Doerr’s nuanced approach concentrates on the choices his characters make and on the souls that have been lost, both living and dead.
His mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and beautiful in which I will happily drown.
Sloppily plotted, turgidly written, "Inferno" is so poorly constructed, so uninvolving...that it makes "The Bridges of Madison County" look like "The Great Gatsby,"...
Although not deeply interested in the astrological symbolism, I was appreciative of Catton’s story-telling prowess and enraptured of her characters. In persuading us to fall in love with them, she accomplished her goal.
Fey has a great sense of pace and timing . . .and a love of language that echoes early Nora Ephron and, before that, the marvelous Jean Kerr.
As a work of literature, it is incontrovertibly imperfect, with a lumpy, lurching narrative. But one can regard the novel as necessary emetic medicine for her vast reading public.
Unbroken’s last act is in a curious key. Returning to peacetime America, Zamperini was racked by memories of his torturers. He turned to booze, got into fights, and eventually ended up being saved by the evangelist Billy Graham. Inevitably, the deepest, darkest circle of hell that Zamperini found himself running around had himself at its centre.
Joyland is a small marvel of a book, a novel of loss and heartbreak, of growth and discovery, a book that combines a coming-of-age story with a mystery, supernatural elements with keen human intimacy...
Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.
Sharp dialogue, terrific pacing, physical hijinks, slapstick, a couple to root for, and more twists than a pack of Twizzlers — it's no surprise that The Rosie Project is bound for the big screen. But read it first.
Henrietta Lacks deserves to be remembered, as does Deborah Lacks. Rebecca Skloot has provided the tombstone that Henrietta’s family could never afford. This true account is at its best when paying tribute to a woman whose life, in death, has benefited countless individuals worldwide.
Wecker takes the premise and runs with it, and though her story runs on too long for what is in essence a fairy tale, she writes skillfully, nicely evoking the layers of alienness that fall upon strangers in a strange land.
Mr Coates has written a powerful book that reveals how being the parent of a black teenage boy in America is to be visited by night terrors about his survival. Read more at http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21656629-father-tells-his-son-what-it-be-black-american-letter-despair#obqk4WitBs11oYpm.99
It is Joe’s story that lies at the heart of this book, and Joe’s story that makes this flawed but powerful novel worth reading.
One weak link, though, does not undo the novel. Mr Mitchell has conjured up multiple thrilling worlds, enough for the reader to get happily lost in.
This genuine page-turner offers a whiff of white liberal self-congratulation that won’t hurt its appeal and probably spells big success.
The mix of desire and disdain for popularity and acceptance many women face and the way it shapes them as human beings and informs their actions is the heart of Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia.