A novel without a single quote in 736 fast-paced pages—but one that might be quoted for decades.

RED OR DEAD

A story of faith, ambition, socialism and a last-place English football club, combining a true story with eternal truths.

English novelist Peace is no stranger to mixing fiction with the football pitch (The Damned UTD, 2006, etc.), and in this volume he tells the story of elegant and elegiac Bill Shankly, the legendary coach of the Liverpool Football Club who took a down-and-out team in a down-and-out town to the top ranks of English football. (You could think of him as a sort of British Joe Torre for the way he's revered by fans.) This book is barely fiction—it's more a fictionalized biography—but it’s a classic story about dedication, redemption and love, all set in a locker room and in football stadiums where tens of thousands, sometimes more, chant and cheer. It's a story about struggle—against wind, rain, snow and mud; against Arsenal Football Club and Sportgemeinschaft Dynamo Dresden and UD Las Palmas; against a tradition of failure; against the limits of athletes and ownership. But it's above all a story of triumph—over other clubs, to be sure, but also over obstacles moral and financial—and a story about passage: one man’s (from the coal mines of Scotland), and one team’s (from the depths of the Second Division to the giddy heights of the First). Across its pages stride some of the greatest names in English sport, unknown on these shores but luminaries in Liverpool—and a cameo appearance by Harold Wilson, the one-time British prime minister. The result is a book to be savored with a cup of tea and a slice of orange—what the Liverpool players have at halftime.

A novel without a single quote in 736 fast-paced pages—but one that might be quoted for decades.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61219-368-7

Page Count: 736

Publisher: Melville House

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ANIMAL FARM

A FAIRY STORY

A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

Did you like this book?

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more