...Ruth Reichl's first novel, is about as subtle as a Ring Ding...This confection might play better with Young Adult readers.
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.
A sharp set of stories, the author's debut, about U.S. soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their aftermaths, with violence and gallows humor dealt out in equal measure...the 12 stories reveal a deep understanding of the tedium, chaos and bloodshed of war, as well as the emotional disorientation that comes with returning home from it.
As Helen and Isaac take their turns at the narrative mic, Mengestu cleverly toys with our perceptions...Writing with the kind of effortless ease suggestive of much painstaking struggle, Mengestu locates the novel’s horror not in war per se, but in those seemingly born to its bidding.
And just when you think you can’t bear any more bleakness, Mohamed shows us the human connections that, despite all odds, endure...The clear-eyed candour of Mohamed’s vivid and lyrical writing offers insights not only into Somalia’s troubled history but into the conflicted relationships we all have...
...Harris pens superb exegeses of the ideological currents coursing through this most political of cinematic eras, and in the arcs of his vividly drawn protagonists—especially Stevens, whose camera took in the liberation of Paris and the horror of Dachau—we see Hollywood abandoning sentimental make-believe to confront the starkest realities.
Fans know the formula: plenty of rousing battle scenes—Weber’s specialty—and characters that gradually, over many pages, come into focus...If you’re not already addicted to this series, don’t start here.
But for all its shocking revelations, the story lacks propulsion, its backward narration and withholding of information distracting us from the action and motivation. Nevertheless, this is a memorable book.
Some sections detailing military deployment negotiations will prove as dry as Afghan dust to anyone not wearing green, but overall the book is a rewarding read and a rare insight into the ongoing capture of the Obama administration by Washington's security establishment.
Cornwell skillfully illuminates the competing cultures of the 10th Century; the conflict between Dane and Saxon is examined with sympathy and insight...
Happily Mr Shakespeare, a novelist and biographer of some note, is too good a writer to succumb to sensationalism. Instead, and after some impressive research, he builds a nuanced, sensitive portrait of this sad and glamorous member of his family, who died in 1982.
Easley’s story is perhaps as excruciating as Helen’s is liberating. At times, the novel is so disturbing in its depiction of human frailty...Sharing in his solitude, and being trapped with his wayward thoughts can become painfully introspective for the reader, making the ultimate ending all the more bittersweet.
If this all sounds like a parlor game played by sauced tweeds at the faculty Christmas party, rest assured that it reads a bit like one, too. Mr. Lebow’s meandering narrative is sometimes difficult to follow...among descriptions of his best world, his worst world, the actual historical world and potential forks that branch off from each.
...politically savvy but militarily uneventful novel that bridges the gap between the last novel and the expected sequel.
What has long provided the authenticity that gives credibility to Clancy’s work is his hands-on knowledge of modern weapons and the men and women who use them...Mark Greaney, his co-author on “Command Authority,” continued Clancy’s self-education in battle realities.
This is history drained not just of its interesting bits but of its very import, and at such times Wilford seems less an inartful storyteller than a kind of lecture-hall sadist.
It’s not just that Mr. Shavit lays out the story of Israel’s founding with clarity and precision. This is a story we’ve read before...It’s that he so deliberately scrutinizes the denial he locates at the heart of Israeli consciousness.
The work comprises 24 plates, with three on each of the yard-long panels of the accordion foldout, as the faceless soldiers fall to their bloody, anonymous deaths. Unique, devastating, indelible.
As compelling as a car wreck, it’s impossible to look away, even though the catalogue of misery sometimes threatens to overwhelm.
...MacMillan is largely unconvincing in some key arguments about the war’s origins and offers no new reinterpretation of events the lead up to the war.