In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure.
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.
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.
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.
Some sections detailing military deployment negotiations will prove as dry as Afghan dust to anyone not wearing green, but overall the book is a rewarding read and a rare insight into the ongoing capture of the Obama administration by Washington's security establishment.
Flavia retains her droll wit...The solution to a murder is typically neat, and the conclusion sets up future books nicely.
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...
As with many sufferers, Stossel’s quest to find relief is unfinished, but his book relays a masterful understanding of the condition he and millions of others endure.
I wondered why no women were included...Although there are more than enough alcoholic women writers to choose from (Jean Rhys, Dorothy Parker, Jean Stafford, Marguerite Duras, Shirley Jackson, Anne Sexton, Gwendolyn MacEwen) it’s possible they simply wouldn’t have the same commercial value as a book about “The Boys.”
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.
It’s not just that Mr. Shavit lays out the story of Israel’s founding with clarity and precision. This is a story we’ve read before...It’s that he so deliberately scrutinizes the denial he locates at the heart of Israeli consciousness.
The story was just words on the page for the most part. Even though Etna's story inspired a lot of sympathy in me, the way it was told struck me as curiously bloodless.
Readers looking for nuance will not find it here, but there are plot twists, adventure, heartbreak, and familial love in spades, making this the kind of story that keeps readers turning pages in a fever.
...the unfolding of the story of the painting gives the book all of its best moments...Had the rest of it—the foot stamping and the tears—been shortened, tightened, and the story of the picture itself enlarged, the result may well have included the promised sense of amazement.