...it is often hilarious, alarmingly insightful about a particular historical moment, and Jewish. But what Ferris has that Elkin had is the keen ability to traverse the high wire of satire and lyricism, to at once write a sentence that can drop a reader’s jaw, then make them giggle in the next.
The author’s use of antiquated language—even outside historical documents—adds color to his writing but may also be a source of confusion for some readers...A fascinating history that, while particularly appealing to those interested in religion, is sure to inform a far wider audience.
For the agnostic reader, the purported climax of the book is nothing special – she allows that scientific rigour can co-exist with mysticism. Sure, why not?
The year 1492, celebrated in the New World as the dawn of discovery, casts a baleful shadow over Jewish history. It comes at the end of this uneven, sprawling, often stirring and fascinating volume, and sets the stage for a Volume Two that will encompass an even darker story.
Throughout, vivid details of his search in blistering heat for holy sites both authentic and dubious anchor this complex, compelling spiritual testimony. "You've met my Jesus," he concludes. "Now meet your own."
Clara and her fellow servants, who embody the spirit of the everyday patriot citizen, are written with detail and depth. Historical fiction lovers will look forward to more from this promising new novelist.
Brimming with acute observation and inspired prose, Mary Miller’s The Last Days of California is a blessing of a book.
This brisk, page-turner of a story climaxes at Christmas. Another winner from Albom; this book just about shouts “Give me for a holiday gift.”
...Under Rodriguez's guidance, however, all the pieces are connected slowly until the project as a whole reveals itself. It's as if you've been wandering for miles in a desert and, suddenly, your salvation appears.
O'Reilly and Dugard have swallowed hook, line and sinker the gospel writers' antipathy to the Pharisees. They seem unaware that in Jesus's time the Pharisees were in fact a newish, radicalising group, trying to wrest control of the Jewish religion from the stranglehold of the Sadducees...
A memoir that combined charming reminiscences of Africa and weird stories about English school life with an evaluation of the forces that led this extremely smart man to adopt and argue for such an unusual perspective would be welcome. Perhaps that will come in the second volume of Richard Dawkins's memoirs, supposedly due in two years.
My biggest gripe (for lack of a better word), is that I am so used to having something really bad happening at the end of a Sparks book, that I just kept waiting for something bad to happen.
Bennoune, and those she profiles, bravely meets the tide of extremism with a sense of shared community and nonviolent purpose.
An entertaining, well-researched account of the quest that brims with our fond hopes, foolishness and even desperation.
...a character who comes across as completely self-absorbed and selfish. Thoroughly disenchanting: Powers' admirers would do better to reread his stories or novels.
The sensibility that Mr Aslan brings to his latest book, about the founder of another monotheism, is by comparison rather one-dimensional, although his considerable gifts as a storyteller and populariser of complex religious ideas remain intact.
This writer's own story is a central theme of this gripping book. When she flew the nest at 17, Solnit was presented by her parents with a broken suitcase and a travel clock that didn't work, and they never gave her anything else again.
While The Alchemist is a beautiful and extraordinarily optimistic tale, it isn't very well written, but that's not to say the it isn't a good book.
Mr Bullough largely succeeds in using this sad tale as a metaphor for the fate of the Soviet Union.
...the collection demands close attention and rereading, but, thankfully, the essays offer generous rewards too.