Slava knows that to make his stories convincing he has to get the details right, and...he provides more than enough correct details and well crafted figurative turns of phrase to convince most readers to go along with him...
Unsurprising but perfectly competent and seamlessly of a piece with her Living History (2003). And will Hillary run? The guiding metaphor of the book is the relay race, and there’s a sense that if the torch is handed to her, well….
This absorbing book suggests that even the best of intentions, and the best of spies, aren't enough to bridge the chasms in the Middle East.
Will history see Geithner as a great Treasury secretary? That is uncertain. He was certainly effective. But too much of this otherwise self-deprecating memoir is self-defence.
If a book’s success can be measured by its ability to move readers and the number of memorable characters it has, Story Prize–winner Doerr’s novel triumphs on both counts.
This is the James Madison we always should have known about. Thanks to Lynne Cheney’s well-researched book, it’s the James Madison we will now always know.
What follows is a time-shifting story of Houdini’s life and death that can’t seem to distinguish incredible fantasy from prosaic truth...to be fair, it is often hard to separate the two extremes...The Confabulist, for all its methodical sense of misdirection, doesn’t amaze.
We are always drawn back to the sea that links us with our ancestors, across time and space. This is a magnificent book.
A tour de force of character, point of view and especially atmosphere, Prose's latest takes place in Paris from the late 1920s till the end of World War II.
But the book is less about people and more about systems. How managers squeezed the maximum productivity from their workers, and the most efficiency from their buildings...Cubed offers something different: an entertaining look at the history of the modern worker, that the modern worker can actually learn from.
The account of Barea is the most sombre and profound in the book. Vaill's style throughout is unusually intimate. She glides into characters' heads and keeps up the pace with smart asides. This can make it wonderfully exciting but the intimacy can grate...
Mr. Beam's "American Crucifixion" concentrates on the murder itself, which has received relatively little attention from historians of Mormonism. But the book is also a remarkably fair account of the origins and trajectory of Mormonism itself.
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.
The portrait offered in historian Ramachandra Guha’s biography is of Gandhi as a human being, not just a hero...Guha’s biography fills this gap with authority and clarity.
Val McDermid is a good crime writer, too good indeed to disguise her feelings about a commission that inspires, at least in this reader, a weary "so what?" Perhaps the best we can hope for is that it will send McDermid's many fans back to the source – the book first published posthumously in 1818 as Northanger Abbey.
A comprehensive, illuminating and highly readable study of a notorious episode in the annals of the American justice system.
A burst of spontaneous dancing on the retreat gives the book a similarly surprising lift, but it’s quickly back to hand-wringing and self-loathing. An admirable, if muted, minor-key study of the meaning of survivorship.
Ms Gall’s narrative would have been stronger if she had balanced what she learned from Afghan intelligence sources, who are famously hostile (if for good reason) towards Pakistan’s army, with other views.
Is there anything in the lives to justify Koch and Conan Doyle appearing together between the covers of a single book? Mr. Goetz's enjoyable chronicle makes a spirited, if unproven, case. We are offered racy biographies of the two men. Both were originally provincial general practitioners but ambitious for more.
No big points made here, just strong storytelling combined with thoughtful exploration of difficult issues.