Next book

14-AUG

The first part of what Solzhenitsyn has described as "the principal project" of his life's work, an epic study of Russia before, during and after the Revolution, whose "general conception. . .came to me upon graduation from high school," August 1914 describes the opening campaign of the Russian army in East Prussia, its strategic blunders, operational chaos, and general lack of coordination to a degree the Germans could hardly believe, and the bravery of the troops who were finally surrounded. Solzhenitsyn has described his difficulties in gathering source material, since important archives were barred to him; but no significant historiographic faults have yet been noted and, though he has no firsthand experience of pre-revolutionary society, he has achieved a power and freshness which lend credence to the inevitable War and Peace comparisons. Solzhenitsyn parenthetically disputes Tolstoy's belief that it is not men's decisions which make history; the generals (owing to the way tsarist hierarchies fostered incompetence) did not know what they were doing, and in Solzhenitsyn's view these early losses undercut the entire war effort. Solzhenitsyn has always had an acute understanding of bureaucracy, and his own war experience — in particular his almost religious conception of comradeship under fire — animates the chronicle. Other elements are even more directly autobiographical: two of the characters have all the predicates of Solzhenitsyn's parents. The book expresses both Solzhenitsyn's belief in "the vigorous, inexhaustible spiritual strength of Russia" and his contempt for the untruths and abuses of authority, as well as a God-fearingness which should be distinguished from Russian Orthodoxy. One principal is a relatively unsympathetic young revolutionary, to whom Solzhenitsyn imputes a simple-minded "the worse the better" view of the war. The most fully developed characters include General Samsonov, commander of the destroyed army, a victim of broader intrigues and incapacities, and a young staff officer, Vorotynsev, who upholds Solzhenitsyn's foremost value, honesty, in a final explosion. However, as Solzhenitsyn acknowledges, some of the character development is incomplete, because "this is only the initial presentation of a longer work." It is an impressive one, if not as soul-shaking as The Cancer Ward and The First Circle. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1972

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 170


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 170


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 435


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 435


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Close Quickview