As restless, and as sly, as the mythical Proteus, she nimbly remakes her novel at every turn — but she does so with another goal in mind. Sometimes, she seems to say, the only way to get your mind around the past is just to step ahead to a new beginning.
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...
My trouble with this book was not its failure to live up to genre conventions — any good story can get away with breaking the rules. But I was disappointed that the characters remained thin, even through plot twists and revelations that should have granted them life beyond the page.
If "The Great Glass Sea" suffers from a few excesses of ambition, then it is redeemed by Weil's greatest gift to the reader: a deep understanding of family, personal loss and the abiding love between siblings.
There’s never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It’s exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable.
Plot takes a back seat to Gould’s razor-sharp humor and observations about life in New York among a class of young people...It’s also a delight to read a novel that places female friendship at its center...Perfect summer reading for people who’d rather stay in the city than go to the beach.
With "The Silkworm" and "The Cuckoo's Calling," one might be tempted to say, Robert Galbraith has announced himself as a fresh voice in mystery fiction: part hard-boiled, part satiric, part poignant and part romantic.
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.
There are moments of dark musicality, and Eggers’s concern with the abuse of power is resonant. But the novel is hollowed out by its main character’s mixture of apocalyptic gloom and repetitive pedantry.
The area of Midtown Manhattan around Grand Central Terminal, with its host of landmark buildings, serves as the backdrop...The tour of Midtown, both above and below ground, is alone worth the price of admission.
As always, Furst is a master of atmosphere, re-creating those prewar days so vividly we can almost imagine that we, like the characters, operate in the dark at midnight, unaware of what happens next...
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is itself a strange book that demands some patience on the part of a reader, particularly the patience to allow yourself to be mystified for long stretches. Its pleasures are almost architectural...
...without spoiling the fun of reading this excellent addition to King's growing list of mystery-thriller titles, there's even a small hint that the Mr. Mercedes show may go on — a scary thought indeed.
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...
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.
The details are both devastating and inspiring. The two men, it turns out, are wrestling with similar demons. From their despair emerges something reassuring: a feeling of commonality and a modest sense of hope.
The stories in The Book of Unknown Americans are engaging, readable, and poignant, but the quality of the writing is uneven. The thoughtfully titled The Book of Unknown Americans doesn’t quite live up to its name.
By the end, which features some difficult, realistic, and earned resolutions, readers will be amazed at this deeply felt, vivid novel.
...The Vacationers really is perfect summer reading: a beautifully written story that’s neither too depressing nor too charming, one that contains all the aching emptiness of wanting children or sex or companionship. It’s like sitting on a perfect sandy beach and knowing there’s jellyfish in the water, waiting to sting.
...I am sure it will be seen on beaches both at home and abroad this summer. But I imagine that it will be left on them afterwards.