A tale of misplaced trust, opportunities lost, and indefatigable hope that will satisfy war vets and pacifists alike.

IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM'D

A thriller about a college student who flees to Canada after his favorite professor frames him for murder.

Sharry depicts the same post–Vietnam War disillusionment that was central to his first book, For Renata (2014). In the wake of the disastrous riots at Kent State University, college student and reservist Bobby Coyle is called by his commanders to help quell protests at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When one of Bobby’s superiors becomes aggressive toward a young co-ed, Bobby steps in to defend her, knocking out his commanding officer. Worried he may have killed the man, Bobby runs from the scene looking for help, which he finds in Adam Payne. Little does Bobby know that Payne is a psychopath, a terrifically evil man engaged in a string of his own crimes and indiscretions. Payne seizes upon Bobby’s misfortune, manipulating the scenario so Bobby takes the fall for Payne’s unrelated wrongdoings. He convinces Bobby to escape to Canada, where Payne intends to complete the frame-up, then have him killed. As Bobby tries to create a new life for himself, he wises up to Payne’s plan, staying in hiding to evade American authorities as well as Payne. As Sharry shifts between scenes of the deserter and the deserted, he keeps the reader guessing about whether Bobby will ever find peace and whether Payne will get his just deserts. There is constant fear throughout the tale that Payne will catch up with Bobby, putting an end to the gripping cat-and-mouse game he has created. In addition to this undercurrent of suspense, Sharry presents realistic emotional struggles involving Bobby’s estranged relationships with family members, seemingly ubiquitous yearnings for approval, and the pervasive distrust of government that prevailed during much of the turbulent 1970s. While maintaining a fast narrative pace, Sharry still manages to intriguingly address questions of hope, loyalty, and love. Readers will hold their breath waiting to see how it all turns out.

A tale of misplaced trust, opportunities lost, and indefatigable hope that will satisfy war vets and pacifists alike. 

Pub Date: June 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-692-40314-3

Page Count: 334

Publisher: Coccinelle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2015

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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