Think David Lodge meets Maggie Shipstead as Makkai’s suspenseful scene building and comic timing make “The Hundred-Year House” a captivating read.
Through the images, three strands of story emerge: that of Graham and his family; that of Eric, his art and his tragic marriage to a Catholic; and the anxieties of Jozef...the connections between the strands are so glancing that the tales seem to interrupt rather than supplement each other...
One can see why the CIA – which, according to the authors of this book, is now admitting involvement for the first time, and gave them generous research access – might feel inclined to boast a little. As cold war operations go, this was one of the good ones
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.
Few books about publishing manage to be this gripping. Like the novel which it takes as its subject, it deserves to be read.
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.
King does not shy from showing the uncomfortable relationship among all three anthropologists and those they study. Particularly upsetting is the portrait of a Tam who returns “civilized” after working in a copper mine. A small gem, disturbing and haunting.
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.
The only problem with this novel is that its covers are too close together. I wanted more of Slava, his bumpy love life, his venal grandfather, even Herr Barber.
That Clinton keeps her cards close to her chest can be read as proof positive of a presidential run in her future. Maybe after that, she can finally give us the goods.
Impassioned, insightful snapshots of life in pre–Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia....All of these congruous pieces create a patchwork tapestry of Central European history...A controversial, insightful work from Poland’s 2013 journalist of the year.
A low-key, respectful life of a decent American officer whose quietly significant work helped lead to the Oslo Accords.
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.
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.
...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.
This novel will be a piece of luck for anyone with a long plane journey or beach holiday ahead. It is such a page-turner, entirely absorbing: one of those books in which the talent of the storyteller surmounts stylistic inadequacies and ultimately defies one's better judgment.
Cheney’s biography is lucidly written...and she clearly brings to life the character and personality of Madison. Apart from Ralph Louis Ketcham’s 1971 life, this is probably the best single-volume biography of Madison that we now have.
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.
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.
It is a collage of memoir, cultural history and travelogue in which the author makes pilgrimage to ever more distant seas to swim with whales and dolphins. These encounters yield some of the most vivid writing in the book...