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.
The mystery is why Seiffert doesn’t make more of this contemporary aspect of her novel. Jozef is given his own story, one that perhaps too neatly echoes Graham’s (he is also suffering from marital woes), but it is frustratingly thin. It is as though Seiffert can’t quite find enough room for that strand of her narrative.
Lepucki's cautious dystopia never quite asks the right questions of us, ultimately to the detriment of the novel.
“The Great Glass Sea” is not an alternative history, then, but a fantastical vision inspired by bits and pieces of Russian language, history and culture. It is beautifully baffled by the mysterious Russian soul.
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.
"Friendship" so knowingly and skillfully reveals the ways that a spoiled existence — spending recklessly while enduring leisurely but soul-sucking new media jobs and unnervingly detached relationships — add up to a particular form of hell.
J.K. Rowling, under her Galbraith pseudonym, again demonstrates her adroitness at crafting a classic fair-play whodunit in a contemporary setting, peopled with fully realized primary and secondary characters.
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.
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.
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.
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...
The scariest thing of all is to imagine King writing a happy children’s book. This isn’t it: It’s nicely dark, never predictable and altogether entertaining.
Henderson, a native Montanan, finds ample room for deep-turning plot twists in the superficially simple matter of a man looking for meaning in his own life while trying to help others too proud and mistrustful to receive that assistance...It’s expertly written and without a false note, if often quite bleak.
The story of Mayor and Maribel is interrupted by soliloquies from Ms. Henríquez’s chorus of immigrants...Too often, however, they feel like unnecessary distractions from the story of the Rivera and Toro families, which by themselves encapsulate both the promises and perils of the American dream.
By the end, which features some difficult, realistic, and earned resolutions, readers will be amazed at this deeply felt, vivid novel.
Slava’s romantic and professional reckonings in the closing pages are inevitable, but Fishman thoughtfully raises questions of what Holocaust-era suffering is deserving of recompense. A smart first novel that’s unafraid to find humor in atrocity.
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.
A novel that is both a lot of fun to read and has plenty of insight into the marital bond and the human condition.
So many critics seem to have been knocked on their behinds by Dicker's novel that I can't be sure I'm not missing something...They see a masterpiece; I see a completely ordinary, amiably cartoonish and well aerated page-turner...What the book does well is what all good thrillers should: it twists and turns.