Gripping and as well-crafted as an episode of Smiley’s People, full of cynical inevitability, secrets, lashings of whiskey and corpses.
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 leitmotif of these tales is dispossession: the Czech people struggling to remain individuals in a state where individualism is literally a crime. Faced with the hand-tailored sadism and iron whimsy of occupying forces, these men and women must make a choice: resist or submit.
...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.
"Age of Ambition" is a splendid and entertaining picture of 21st-century China, painted by a young American who moves with ease around the country rather like one of Mao Zedong's proverbial fishes. With a sharp eye and a keen nose, Mr. Osnos...introduces us to the people living in a country undergoing "a transformation...
While no one book can definitively capture the complexities, atrocities and resounding relevance of the Spanish Civil War, few single books on that uniquely intra- and international war can be as moving and illuminating as Amanda Vaill’s vibrant Hotel Florida.
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.
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.
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.
“Savage Harvest” turns into a taut thriller, but it gets off to a shaky start. Cast adrift in the Arafura Sea, Rockefeller leaves a colleague clinging to their boat and swims toward shore...Quickly, however, his book settles down and his reporting takes hold, drawing a vivid portrait of the world of the Asmat people...
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.
It is a troubling question, but many readers will feel Hussey leaves himself too little space to give an adequate answer. Taken as a whole, though, The French Intifada is a good introduction to the most sensitive issues of race, religion, citizenship and history that grip modern France.
It is a fitting epilogue to 20th-century travel-writing and essential reading for devotees of Sir Patrick’s other works—though eclipsed by his earlier books and the world they conjured.
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.
Whitelock, whose previous book was an excellent biography of Mary Tudor, demonstrates her understanding that readers are at heart voyeurs, filling her “intimate history” with countless such details, both juicy and distasteful.
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.