Seiffert’s last leg is perhaps a stretch too far that ekes out more of the same and tells us nothing new. Indeed, for some readers the entire book may feel like too great a distance to cover...However, Seiffert’s tragedy grips while it disturbs and its emotional punch makes it worth persevering until her bitter end.
In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.
“Gottland” offers an indelible account of the ravages of 20th-century totalitarianism and the way it continues to pollute human thought and behavior in the 21st century.
...his narrative is focused on not eating what the rest of the crew is eating, not sleeping where others sleep...he waits in his cabin alone, wondering what the hell is going on. Dyer might as well be on a cruise ship, and he knows it.
Osnos combines scintillating reportage with an eye for telling ironies that illuminate broader trends; without downplaying the uniqueness of Chinese society, he makes its tensions feel achingly familiar for Western readers.
Fascinating characters breeze through Vaill’s pages as they once drifted through that lobby, and as they did in her stellar biography of Sara and Gerald Murphy and their sparkling set...
What can a new biographer add? “Gandhi Before India” by Ramachandra Guha, India’s leading historian, offers plenty...it deals with Gandhi’s life up to 1914...Gandhi’s biographers usually pass over this period in a rush to get to the main show in India. But Mr Guha argues his “African Gandhi” is every bit as worthy of attention as the later man.
Ms Gall’s narrative would have been stronger if she had balanced what she learned from Afghan intelligence sources, who are famously hostile (if for good reason) towards Pakistan’s army, with other views.
Is there anything in the lives to justify Koch and Conan Doyle appearing together between the covers of a single book? Mr. Goetz's enjoyable chronicle makes a spirited, if unproven, case. We are offered racy biographies of the two men. Both were originally provincial general practitioners but ambitious for more.
He may be too optimistic about China and enlightened authoritarianism, and China will not for a long time, if ever, replace America as the safeguarder of the global commons.
While the truth of Rockefeller’s disappearance may never be known, Hoffman deserves much credit for this riveting, multilayered tale.
What makes Ms. Barish’s account of all this so fascinating is not just the unmasking of a high-level confidence trickster...I wish Ms. Barish had not wasted so much of her time on speculation and had been able to deliver better answers to the hard questions posed by the shocking life and career of Paul de Man.
This book makes a good fist of disentangling the curious charms of the Japanese and for helping outsiders to understand them a little better.
De Courcy has done a good deal of fishing herself, trolling for stories in sources that date from the early days of the company in the 17th century...bulk of her material is from the late 19th and early 20th centuries — perhaps simply because there’s more of it and perhaps because this seems to be her own favorite stalking ground.
"The French Intifada," while fine as an introduction to the history of France's African colonies, suffers from shallowness...He relies too much on secondary sources and too little on the voices of North Africans themselves...But Mr. Hussey's portrayal of the tragedy of French colonialism is accurate and smart.
While it is not the literary masterpiece it might have been had Leigh Fermor been able to work his magic, it captures the joy of the open road, the fresh view he gives of Europe as it began to show the stresses that led to world war, and the glimpses of a long-lost life and innocence.
This illuminating collection shows a writer at his most inquisitive, gazing deeply under the surface of things and grappling with the difficulties of personal and collective memory.
This intimate portrait of Elizabeth’s private life, as refracted through her relationships with the ladies of her bedchamber, will engage any readers wishing for a more balanced portrait of Elizabeth the flawed human being, as opposed to simply another rehashing of the mythical representations of her as Gloriana.
The Bear would have made an amazing 20-page tale, ending about halfway through the existing novel. As it is, the book meanders when it should be a taut thriller, forcing the reader to worry whether these children will make it out alive.
Danubia is a moving book, and also a sensuous one...Miniaturist in its eye for detail, grand in its scope, it skips beats and keeps our attention all the way.