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.
For dedicated movie buffs, a handful of choice remarks on the personal habits of stars provides respite from tedious details...Ultimately, the book is a charmed and mostly charming tribute to off-screen lives during a period many may regard as Hollywood's finest.
Clara and her fellow servants, who embody the spirit of the everyday patriot citizen, are written with detail and depth. Historical fiction lovers will look forward to more from this promising new novelist.
This is the turgid, enumerative, cheerleading voice of political talking points and White House press aides...this access does not lead to a smidgeon of insight... It is a 400-plus-page advertorial for Mrs Clinton's presidential campaign, masquerading as an unauthorised biography...
A 12-page montage of random moments from her life...seems slapdash; so do some of her remarks on the six objects, which ramble in ways that are not necessarily illuminating. But even these slightly disappointing passages contain examples of Lively's gift for sharply turned phrases...
How will our conversations and actions be shaped by our anxieties and blind spots? “An Officer and a Spy” — a beautifully crafted novel of great intelligence — has much to suggest.
For die-hard Burroughs fans, Call Me Burroughs will likely fill in small details of its subject’s life that were left in question. For people looking for an introduction to the man’s life and work, reading his Wikipedia page would save a lot of time.
Owuor...has a habit of using single word dramatic sentences to try and convey the feelings of her characters...its consequences are detrimental to the rhythm of the prose...Still, there are moments to savor.
Mr. Gates has been a public servant for four decades under eight presidents. I think that he should have let time heal wounds before writing his book, but it was obviously an exorcism of the demons that he acquired while writing over a thousand condolence letters to the families of our fallen warriors.
Not much mystery and even less poison, but it’s hard to resist either the genre’s pre-eminent preteen sleuth or the hushed revelations about her family.
In "Foreign Gods Inc.," Ndibe links Manhattan to a village in Africa and shows just how great the distance between them really is.
...I am appalled that I had never heard of the Grimkés before, and thank the author sincerely for allowing me to make their acquaintance.
Cornwell skillfully illuminates the competing cultures of the 10th Century; the conflict between Dane and Saxon is examined with sympathy and insight...
Hopefully writing My Age of Anxiety proved to be cathartic for Mr. Stossel. Reading My Age of Anxiety will surely prove to be inspirational for his compatriots.
In the end I’m not sure that some of the central questions about writing and drinking ever really get answered. Their alcoholism may have destroyed them, but did it in some way make them great writers?
In the third installment of the Rules of Scoundrels series, MacLean once again creates compelling and complex characters and sets them on a path toward love and reconciliation that begins with seemingly impossible odds and ends with exquisite fulfillment. Beguiling and emotionally lush.
...Mr Shavit speaks to those outside Israel who condemn it as cruel and arrogant. As this book shows, that is a tragic misreading of a nation.
I was only slightly disappointed by the neat ending; it felt as if the story just kind of fizzled out in favor of a happy ending, and although I understand why Shreve provided that ending to us, it did feel a bit far-fetched.
The author forms a comfortable bond with readers and offers just the right blend of history and fiction. Flagg flies high, and her fans will enjoy the ride.
Written in Tan’s characteristically economical and matter-of-fact style, “The Valley of Amazement” is filled with memorably idiosyncratic characters. And its array of colorful multilayered stories is given further depth by Tan’s affecting depictions of mothers and daughters.