Books by John Cullen

EMPTY HEARTS by Juli Zeh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 20, 2019

"A thoughtful political thriller with a provocative sense of humor."
In the near future, a German woman finds a way to make money from terrorism, but a rival may be gunning for her business in this darkly entertaining work. Read full book review >
WANDERER by Sarah Léon
by Sarah Léon, translated by John Cullen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 2019

"Romantic with a capital R, the novel ultimately treats the relationship between the two men with a delicacy that is unexpectedly moving."
Léon's slim debut novel tells the story of a French composer and his former student, brilliant but difficult, who reappears unexpectedly after an absence of 10 years. Read full book review >
UNWORTHY by Antonio Monda
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 22, 2018

"An interesting but finally disappointing look at a priest grappling with women and guilt."
In 1970s New York, a young priest agonizes over his surrender to temptations of the flesh. Read full book review >
THE PARTHENON BOMBER by Christos Chrissopoulos
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 20, 2017

"Reminiscent of a half-century-old ancestor, Vassilis Vassilikos' 1966 novel Z, in its sardonic protest of things as they are."
You don't know what you've got till it's gone: thus this slender but deeply charged novella concerning an unspeakable—but sadly imaginable—act of terrorism. Read full book review >
SUPERNOTES by Agent Kasper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"This translation from Italian is a fast, exciting read inspired by a real agent who risked his life combatting the problem of counterfeiting on an international scale."
A based-on-fact thriller about escaping from captivity in a Cambodian hellhole. Read full book review >
THE EXCHANGE OF PRINCESSES by Chantal Thomas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 7, 2015

"A meticulous and vivid chronicle."
Thomas' latest (Farewell, My Queen, 2003, etc.) illuminates an obscure corner of Western European royal history: the bartering of child brides and grooms.Read full book review >
THE MEURSAULT INVESTIGATION by Kamel Daoud
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2015

"Fiction with a strong moral edge, offering a Rashomon-like response to a classic novel."
The nameless Arab victim of Albert Camus' The Stranger receives a biography and a name in this thoughtful, controversial rejoinder from the other side of the colonial question.Read full book review >
HAPPY ARE THE HAPPY by Yasmina Reza
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"Feather light but oddly compelling."
French playwright and novelist Reza, best known in America for her 2009 Tony Award-winning play, God of Carnage, offers 20 scenes to show the interlocking lives of various Parisian spouses, lovers, parents, children and friends.Read full book review >
DECOMPRESSION by Juli Zeh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 20, 2014

"The gathering suspense is complemented by nuanced characterization in a pleasingly unpredictable work."
Erotic intrigue, deep-sea diving and clients from hell make for a lively mix in this German author's fourth novel (In Free Fall, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"A riveting, intimate look deep inside the machinery of the executioner."
Harrowing personal reflections by the Cambodian French filmmaker of surviving the Khmer Rouge as a young teenager. Read full book review >
THE BARCELONA BROTHERS by Carlos Zanón
Released: Aug. 28, 2012

"The writing is strong, but this is not an easy book to like. If you aren't averse to a dose or three of gloom, give it a shot."
A dark, nihilistic novel evoking the spirit of Dostoevsky. Read full book review >
THE INVESTIGATION by Philippe Claudel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 2012

"A technocratic Kafka nightmare—heavy on surreal diagnosis of the world's ills, light on the traditional rewards of storytelling—crossed with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and a hint of Buster Keaton."
A spare, dystopian fable that examines how closely contemporary life has caught up to Kafka since the publication of The Castle.Read full book review >
THE WRONG BLOOD by Manuel De Lope
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 28, 2010

"Grand themes and extravagant prose trump any hint of literary realism."
Even in translation, the American debut of a celebrated Spanish novelist reads rapturously. Read full book review >
THE ONLY SON by Stéphane Audeguy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"François' apologia is less a sour-grapes critique of his brother's theories than a cynical deconstruction of the revolutionary ideals they presaged."
Audeguy's inventive novel profiles the older, smarter brother of the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Read full book review >
THE SIRENS OF BAGHDAD by Yasmina Khadra
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 8, 2007

"Perhaps the most frighteningly plausible doomsday scenario yet to appear in fictional treatments of this seemingly insoluble crisis. And if it doesn't scare the hell out of you, you're not paying enough attention."
The logic of terrorism is taken to a virtually ultimate extent in this bloodcurdling successor to the pseudonymous author's highly praised novels (The Attack, 2006, etc.). Read full book review >
LIES by Enrique de Hériz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 17, 2007

"Evocative exploration of how deception can destroy—or redeem—a family."
An eccentric Spanish family retreats to their beach house outside Barcelona to make final arrangements for the matriarch presumed dead after a boat accident in Guatemala. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 3, 2007

"Fascinating for generals, more mundane for historians."
Another colorful recounting of a historic clash of armies, from the author of The Battle: A New History of Waterloo (2005). Read full book review >
THE FABRIC OF NIGHT by Christoph Peters
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 9, 2007

"Confusing at times, disturbing at others, Peters's work rewards the challenge of reading with lasting, moody reflections."
German novel about a sculptor who may have witnessed a murder reveals a disturbing, hallucinatory world in which perception is as fluid as blood. Read full book review >
THE ATTACK by Yasmina Khadra
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 9, 2006

"The action is always convincing, the relationships less so. "
"How could she?" That's the question haunting an eminent Arab Israeli surgeon, whose wife has become the latest suicide bomber. Khadra (pseudonym of a retired Algerian army officer) moves from Algeria (Wolf Dreams, 2003) and Afghanistan (The Swallows of Kabul, 2004) to Israel/Palestine. Read full book review >
THE BATTLE by Alessandro Barbero
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2005

"So, too, is this lively and highly readable work: it does for Napoleonic-era warfare what Roberto Calasso did for Greek mythology."
A vivid account of the Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon went out in a blaze of glory. Read full book review >
DON’T MOVE by Margaret Mazzantini
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 25, 2004

"The pull of the darkly irrational: it's a fascinating theme, but Mazzantini doesn't do it justice."
Can you imagine a love affair beginning with a rape? That's the challenge an Italian actress/second-novelist sets herself in her American debut. Read full book review >
THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL by Yasmina Khadra
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 2004

"Still, despite such contrivances, Khadra's latest is informed by a fine ironic intelligence, and its message is not an easy one to shake off."
A bleak, terse tale in which a harsh fundamentalist culture suppresses individual liberty and summarily victimizes its citizens. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: March 20, 2001

"A well-told story. (Illustrations)"
A biography of a significant figure of the Gilded Age who is now generally ignored by historians of popular culture. Read full book review >
RISPONDIMI by Susanna Tamaro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2001

"Holy abstractions brightened by dollops of sex and violence."
Three novellas set in the author's native Italy and connected by spiritual/religious themes of good and evil, love and redemption. Read full book review >