How those spirits will coexist with the preservation of a People’s Republic that bears distinct resemblances to the empires of old is a major question for our times, for which this book supplies much food for thought, informing the wider debate while retaining its value as a closely observed picture of how some Chinese live today.
...it’s a book about a singular man. Even near the end of his life, Tom managed to charm and astonish. He escapes from his care home and is found half a mile down the road stopping the traffic; he befriends the most attractive woman in the place.
This is a look back at a baseball pennant-winner that came out of nowhere, had a great season, and disappeared just as quickly. This features a fan's enthusiasm for the subject by the author, but also carries a few biases in that direction that don't quite pass the smell test. However, Phillies fans will enjoy it.
The jump — a few precious moments of dizzying freedom and possibility — is the core metaphor in a novel of remarkable power, precision and compassion.
Especially vivid is the portrayal of Anna Wolkoff...has a rare talent for isolating details that capture the feel and tempo of London’s past.
The Schooldays of Jesus, philosophically dense as it is, is parched, relentlessly adult fare – rather like eating endless bread and bean paste.
Like all great epics, Sapiens demanded a sequel. Homo Deus, in which that likely apocalyptic future is imagined in spooling detail, is that book. It is a highly seductive scenario planner for the numerous ways in which we might overreach ourselves.
Roper’s biography, distinguished by the excellence of its writing and research, is the beginning of wisdom in all things Reformation, anti-Roman and, alas, proto-Hitlerite. Rarely has a church reformer presented such a dubious side.
Vilcek artfully joins the chronicle of his scientific work and the dramatic events that punctuated his life under two totalitarian regimes, culminating in his flight to freedom. An inspiring page-turner.
Two sad strains, the spirits’ stubborn, nostalgic attachment to the world of the living and Lincoln’s monumental sorrow, make up a haunting American ballad that will inspire increased devotion among Saunders’s admirers.
Autumn is a beautiful, poignant symphony of memories, dreams and transient realities; the “endless sad fragility” of mortal lives.
Heartbreak is a constant companion in the sports world, the notion of just-missed opportunity. Cox captures that sense, even as the men themselves acknowledge that this is how it goes sometimes in the game that they love.
Lovers of the game will love the opportunity to glimpse bits and pieces of baseball’s regional uniqueness; it’s a chance to get an idea of the sport’s aesthetics as seen from another fan’s seat. And with baseball season fast approaching, many of those seats are soon to be taken.
It might have done with another edit – the word “glittering” is overused and there is a pervasive sense of material overstretched, especially towards the end – but at its best this is an enthralling story...
At a moment when we are preoccupied with migration, it offers a sympathetic perspective on the difficulties of adjusting to life in a new place over two generations.
The Afterlife of Stars...has trouble escaping the past. When describing the novel’s time present...it’s lively and imaginative without forsaking a real sense of being in the historical moment. When the brothers start to interrogate their family’s past, or rummage through a trunk filled with memories and mementoes, the narrative seizes up.
The novel is far from perfect. The Butcher’s Hook is unevenly structured: what little plot there is in its first, frustratingly slow chapters is stretched too thin...For all that, however, this author remains one to watch.
Mr Beer’s book makes a compelling case for placing Siberia right at the centre of 19th-century Russian—and, indeed, European—history. But for students of Soviet and even post-Soviet Russia it holds lessons, too.
It seems clear that Adiga is setting us up for a story in which one brother will rise and one will fall – but knowing this does nothing to detract from the enjoyment of the story.
These long taxonomies could easily be dry and exhausting, but they come alive thanks to Fortey’s vivid descriptions.