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...
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...
The book’s title alludes to Karel Gott...and the relationship between art and politics is a running theme, with due reverence for those who kept their integrity. Szczygiel’s absorbing, offbeat history celebrates the truths they defended against oppression.
...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.
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.
Why does Gandhi matter now? Perhaps the fullness of his life is evidence enough. Guha introduces us to a stressed-out parent, a self-righteous advocate for raw food and a risk-taking newspaper editor...Above all, he was a skillful politician who allowed his adversaries to sharpen his thinking.
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.
It is a gripping story, and Mr. Goetz tells it with great verve, painting word pictures full of color and telling detail, whether about issues, controversies or personalities.
Having laid out the argument neatly in the first few chapters, the book veers into a tour of the nations that border the sea under discussion. The chapter on Vietnam is strong...Chapters on Singapore and Taiwan drift further from the central theme.
While the truth of Rockefeller’s disappearance may never be known, Hoffman deserves much credit for this riveting, multilayered tale.
Reading her comments on de Man’s ideas, or on Bataille’s or Sartre’s, is like watching a film out of focus — it’s all there, but very approximate. Does this mean de Man was innocent? Hardly. But his story deserves a less biased and more knowledgeable telling.
Life is complex and contradictory, more so in Japan than other places. But the story Pilling is telling in this worthwhile book is clearer than such tics suggest. As he puts it, “Two ‘lost decades’ and its manifold problems notwithstanding, reports of Japan’s demise are exaggerated.”
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.
There is some terrific and chilling reporting in “The French Intifada”, and Mr Hussey is at his best when on the streets, hanging out in cafés and souks. Yet there are two problems with this book. One is what it does not say...The other is the book’s structure.
Given this long and complex history, it’s a surprise to find that the book is so readable, and so nearly complete. Perhaps it was never finished because the strain of being known as one of the finest prose stylists of his generation proved too much for Leigh Fermor’s perfectionism.
The opening chapter, on Hebel, is the most forceful, a piece of historical criticism conducted entirely from the armchair (not a seagull in sight).
What makes Anna Whitelock’s book different is its immense detail about how Elizabeth lived and how she used a wall of women as protectors and as friends as long as they did not question her iron will.
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.
He never stops talking and rarely pauses for breath. Even then, however, you want to tell him: Forget about breathing and just go on talking. “Danubia” is a long book, yet this reader would not mind if it were longer still.