Books by Alberto Manguel

ALL MEN ARE LIARS by Alberto Manguel
Released: June 5, 2012

"This novel succeeds both as a story and an illumination of storytelling."
A beguiling exercise in metafiction, one that tells an engrossing story from various perspectives while undermining the possibility of truth in storytelling. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Perhaps too dense for casual readers, but lotus to lovers of Homer."
Brief but rich history of a mysterious bard and two wondrous works that serve as foundation stones for Western culture. Read full book review >
THE SECRET SUPPER by Javier Sierra
Released: March 21, 2006

"Sierra is a more sophisticated writer than Dan Brown, and he offers fresh perspective on the Renaissance mind."
No mere Da Vinci Code redux, this Spanish bestseller fuses an ecclesiastical whodunit with an A-Z guide to Neoplatonist philosophy and Renaissance symbology. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A reminder that daily ruminations of even a highly literate and engaging writer are not invariably erudite."
Globetrotting polyglot Manguel (Reading Pictures, 2001, etc.) rereads favorite books, one per month, as the Iraq War simmers, then boils. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A small but rich little instant classic, as though Joseph Conrad had sent up a perfect new tale from the silence beyond the grave."
Manguel (News from a Foreign Country Came, 1990; the nonfiction A History of Reading, 1995; etc.) offers a tiny but deft and quietly moving story of Robert Louis Stevenson at his premature death. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2001

"Intelligent and well-written, though also glancing and provisional."
A middling work of art history and criticism by the noted literary essayist (Into the Looking-Glass Wood, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"A fine book about books that will appeal to readers of Manguel's previous work."
Graceful essays on books, reading, and the subversive possibilities of ideas. Read full book review >
PORTS OF CALL by Amin Maalouf
Released: Nov. 30, 1999

"But, overall, both his pacifism and his passivity seem unfortunately generic, and his plight never fully engages our emotions."
Ports Of Call ($24.00; Nov. 30; 197 pp.; 1-86046-446-7): The native Lebanese (now French) author of such exotic fiction as The Rock of Tanios (1994) and The Gardens of Light (p. 177) offers here the winsome (though strangely uninvolving) story of Turkish-Lebanese nobleman Ossyane Ketabdar's renunciation of both his father's revolutionary ardor and Clara, the Jewish woman whom their respective cultures, a world war, and the later (1948) Arab-Israeli War keep apart for many years, before a final bittersweet meeting seals their fates. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

"With a few fine exceptions, then, here's the nature essay at its most quaint and rhapsodic, from empurpled pens."
paper 0-306-45992-2 Manguel's (A History of Reading, 1996, etc.) collection of natural history essays is overburdened with selections from Victorian Englishmen, with a smattering of odd gems to sustain the reader's interest. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF READING by Alberto Manguel
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"His book, digressive, witty, surprising, is a pleasure. (140 illustrations, not seen)"
A delightful set of interlinked essays that explore the history of reading, by a novelist (News From a Foreign Country Came, 1990) and anthologist (Other Fires, 1985, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1994

"The result is expansive and refreshing."
This collection embraces such a wide range of writing as to nearly undermine the presumed premise—that there exists something that can be intelligently called ``gay fiction.'' Indeed, in his introduction, Manguel (News From a Foreign Country Came, 1991, etc.) writes that ``the notion of `gay literature' is guilty on two counts: first, because it implies a narrow literary category based on the sexuality of either its authors or its characters; second, because it implies a narrow sexual category that has somehow found its definition in a literary form.'' So, in addition to James Baldwin, Edmund White, Christopher Isherwood, and other frequent denizens of gay-themed anthologies, the editors (Stephenson also edited Between Worlds, not reviewed) admit Sherwood Anderson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Hemingway, and other writers not habitually invited into such collections but who have written about homosexuality. Read full book review >