In this literary but unpretentious book, Makkai has created a juicy and moving story of art and love and the luck it takes for either to last.
Seiffert’s last leg is perhaps a stretch too far that ekes out more of the same and tells us nothing new. Indeed, for some readers the entire book may feel like too great a distance to cover...However, Seiffert’s tragedy grips while it disturbs and its emotional punch makes it worth persevering until her bitter end.
...take readers into the world of Soviet intelligentsia and shadowy Cold War politics...overall, a triumphant reminder that truth is sometimes gloriously stranger than fiction.
A book that seems to begin as a children’s story ends in blood-soaked mayhem; the journey from one genre to another is satisfying and surprisingly fresh considering that it's set in a familiar version of gothic London among equally familiar monsters.
Birmingham helps his own readers see how an enlightened society came to the realization that the only fitting response to a work of art like Ulysses is..."Yes."
It’s this kind of passing detail, blending the comic and the tragic, briefly redirecting the reader’s attention toward the million different wars going on all at once, that gives “Midnight in Europe” its terrific texture of reality.
Foulds writes like no one else; while individual scenes are rendered with poetic simplicity, they fit together into an elliptical, complex plot readers will puzzle over long after finishing this novel.
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...
While the love triangle sections do turn pages...King’s immersive prose takes center stage. The fascinating descriptions of tribal customs and rituals, paired with snippets of Nell’s journals...all contribute to a thrilling read that, at its end, does indeed feel like “the briefest, purest euphoria.”
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….
“Gottland” offers an indelible account of the ravages of 20th-century totalitarianism and the way it continues to pollute human thought and behavior in the 21st century.
Bird’s meticulous account of Ames’s career amid an ongoing Mideast climate of caution and suspicion is one of the best books on American intelligence community.
He says that the financial rescue programs enacted in the crisis years were a success because the alternative—which no one can ever know—would have been far worse. What we do know is that, six years later, the economy is suffering through a historically weak recovery and the emergency programs haven't ended.
Osnos finds that the Chinese are just as ingenious at finding ways to circumvent authoritative repression as they are at filling the spiritual vacuum left by the cult of Mao. Pleasant, peripatetic musings revealing a great deal about the Chinese character.
...it’s power that moves things to their grim conclusion. A kind of Virgin Suicides for the Soviet set, speaking to much that’s dark in the human soul—but to what can redeem it, too.
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.
Cheney conclusively demonstrates through the historical record that Madison, in word and deed, was a primary figure in shaping early American development and successfully establishes “a deeper understanding of the man who did more than any other to conceive and establish the nation we know.”
In its blunt method and clumsy misdirection, “The Confabulist” fails to nurture this interaction of minds — the only real magic there is.
Despite the many flashes of humor sprinkled throughout “The Temporary Gentleman,” it is a brutal and disturbing book. Yet it does showcase Sebastian Barry at the top of his form as a writer.
Mr. Hoare's "The Sea Inside" embraces the dangers and mysteries of the natural world and in them finds transcendental awe. Part memoir, part travelogue and part natural history, the book takes the reader around the globe and through time.