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.
In a well-balanced narrative that interweaves historical detail with the lives of servant Clara Bell and her employers, Peggy Shippen Arnold and her husband, Pataki successfully captures an infamous act in American history.
“HRC” is a relentlessly domestic book. Blame the parochial side of Washington, a world capital that is also a small town. Even so, what a waste.
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.
As a first novel, the next step in what I anticipate to be a prodigious career, Dust offers glimmers of Owuor's potential and talent. For now, though, these glimmers shine brighter in her shorter work.
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.
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.
Neither fable nor melodrama, nor what's crudely niched as "world literature," the novel traces the story of a painstakingly-crafted protagonist and his community caught up in the inescapable allure of success defined in Western terms.
...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.
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.
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.
...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.