Carsick isn’t a straightforward On the Road clone, however. Waters impishly provides us with not only a day-by-day description of his actual hitchhike, but two novellas...
Despite the rich parade of anecdote, some of the principals at the heart of "Hotel Florida" remain shadowy presences...There's an absence of "truth" implicit in this practice, too. "Hotel Florida" is nonetheless a vivid, well-paced story of the awfulness of war and of the complex motives of those who report on it.
Guha offers a full, relaxed portrait of how the “Mahatma” came to be, as he gained his voice as a writer, seeker and leader.
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.
The story of a pair of unlikely heroes who crossed paths in Berlin in 1890 and forever changed the landscapes of medicine and literature....A beguiling real-life medical detective story.
An up-and-down examination in which the author claims that the future of the Pacific Rim will be decided not by what China does but by what America does.
In "Savage Harvest," Carl Hoffman has fitted the missing pieces together in a gripping whodunit. He gives away his conclusion in his subtitle...and details, in harrowing terms, how the young explorer was brutally murdered and—there is no delicate way to say this—cooked and consumed. Knowing the ending does not diminish the reader's interest.
Evelyn Barish's "The Double Life of Paul de Man" is the first full-length biography of its subject...Though Ms. Barish adds much to our knowledge of this brilliant intellectual counterfeit, her book disappointed me. At times she doesn't seem quite attuned to the way deconstructionists use language.
Pilling concludes that Japan’s economic deflation, declining fertility, and rapidly aging population mirror worldwide trends in other developed countries, and the world has much to learn from Japan’s failures and successes.
As an account of husband-hunting, The Fishing Fleet is thorough and serviceable. As an account of how to screw up two societies at once, it's unparalleled.
"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.
"The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos" is not flawless...But these are minor quibbles. For the remainder of the text, nearly every other sentence belongs in a time capsule, so evocative of time and place is the author's prose...
Catling taught with Sebald in the last decade of his life, and her flowing translation pays crucial attention to the prosody and contours of Sebald’s sentences.
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.
...Cameron crafts a more straightforward adventure with a narration that nicely captures an ordinary child’s way of thinking—and of blocking out unwelcome knowledge.
At its height, as British author Simon Winder reminds us in “Danubia,” his engaging if occasionally frivolous “Personal History” of Hapsburg Europe, the dynasty “ruled immense tracts of land...It makes for a great story, at times inspiring, at times absurd, but always gripping.
...the Shanghai-based journalist charts the globalization of the recycling trade, focusing on the U.S. and China, and featuring a cast that ranges from self-made scrap-metal tycoons to late-night garbage pickers.
As might be expected from an author whose books include The Uses and Abuses of History, a timely reminder that all roads do not lead to Munich or wherever else we might self-interestedly direct them to go, MacMillan prizes prudent, balanced analysis over brash grandstanding.
Jung Chang is a vivid guide to these tumultuous decades, as readers of “Wild Swans”, her prize-winning 1991 book, would expect. She has a novelist’s eye for the telling detail...
It’s hard to compose facts and figures into a volume that reads as easily as a novel, loaded with derring-do and emotion. Mr. Holmes has succeeded at that challenge, profiling an important but underexamined aspect of human history that is uplifting in all its forms.