Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1743)

UNCONQUERED COUNTRIES by Geoff Ryman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 21, 1994

"Others will note the artificially heightened prose, the clever mechanics, the polished inventiveness, the ulterior meanings, and they will remain emotionally unmoved."
Four novellas, two previously unpublished, from the author of the acclaimed Was (1992) and The Child Garden (1990). ``The Unconquered Country'' (1986), Ryman's allegorical dark fantasy about Cambodia and Vietnam, has previously appeared as a book in its own right. ``O Happy Day!'' (1985), a tale of sociobiology and feminist backlash, features a transit camp run by homosexual men to which trainloads of males are dispatched for extermination by the feminists now controlling the country. Read full book review >
BREATH, EYES, MEMORY by Edwidge Danticat
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 20, 1994

"An impressive first outing."
Sexual traumas link a Haitian mother and her daughter in this wonderfully self-assured debut by 24-year-old Haitian-American Danticat. Read full book review >

FAMILY TERRORISTS by Antonya Nelson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 19, 1994

"The New Yorker eats this stuff up; readers will find Nelson either enchanting or boring."
Seven stories (two of them award-winners, ``Naked Ladies'' in Best American, ``Dirty Words'' in O. Henry) and a novella, done up in a kind of flip realism that subjects relationships to breezy examination. Read full book review >
AS MAX SAW IT by Louis Begley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1994

"Nonetheless, As Max Saw It is an enjoyable read, most notably for the magnificent character of Charlie Swan, a man so outsized in his feelings and appetites that he dwarfs everyone else in the novel."
In a novel seemingly about a man's coming to terms with his own humanity and the depth of feeling within his heart, Begley (The Man Who Was Late, 1993; Wartime Lies, 1991) is unlikely here to evoke any depth of feeling in the reader's heart. Read full book review >
A DISTURBANCE IN ONE PLACE by Binnie Kirshenbaum
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1994

"Juicy sexual history, but mysteriously un-nourishing."
Set in New York, like its frivolous predecessor On Mermaid Avenue (1993), Kirshenbaum's second novel takes a semiserious look at adultery. ``I have broken seven of the Ten Commandments,'' the nameless heroine tells us, adding, ``Guilt does not prey on me. Read full book review >

THE STUBBORN PORRIDGE by Wang Meng
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1994

"Although it doesn't have much staying power, this is a thoroughly enjoyable group of stories that tweaks bureaucracy and turns expectations around."
These allegorical stories from a Chinese master delight with spare language and wry hidden meanings. Read full book review >
TWICE BURIED by Steven Havill
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1994

"But Bill and his hardscrabble neighbors—especially Estelle, who seems destined for a return to Posadas next time—are as modestly appealing as ever, and in his third outing, he does his best detective work yet."
What connection could there be between the ``accidental'' death in her own basement of long-retired schoolmarm Anna Hocking and equally ancient Reuben Fuentes's paranoid rumblings about the people who poisoned his dogs? Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1994

"Devotees will be too grateful to complain about its absence, or about the inevitable unevenness of the assembled works—nor will they be foolish enough to devour this sumptuous feast in a single sitting."
A three-scoop helping of Holmesiana ranging from reprints of classic parodies by Bret Harte and O. Henry to evergreen pastiches by Vincent Starrett, August Derleth, and Stuart Palmer to new stories by Jon Koons, Roberta Rogow, and Carole BuggÇ (whose ``Adventure of the Tongue-Tied Tenor'' is a particular standout). Read full book review >
QUARANTINE by Juan Goytisolo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1994

"Goytisolo's fans, however, should be pleased by this unique meditation on death and the creative process by a distinctly original voice."
Spanish experimental novelist Goytisolo (Landscapes After the Battle, 1987, etc.), the author of a two-volume memoir (Realms of Strife, 1990, and Forbidden Territory, 1988), explores the 40-day journey that souls, according to Islam, take from the moment of death to their final resting place and reflects on the creative writing process. Read full book review >
THE COMPLETE BUTCHER'S TALES by Rikki Ducornet
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1994

"With their relentless emphasis on the bizarre, the nasty, and the surreal, tales that provoke and disturb—but generally remain little more than cleverly executed curiosities."
From illustrator-author Ducornet (The Jade Cabinet, 1993, etc.), nearly 60 stories, some previously published—Iowa Review, Canadian Fiction Magazine, etc.—that resemble a vitrine stuffed with curiosities, grotesqueries, and erotic paraphernalia. Read full book review >
THE BIRTHDAY BOYS by Beryl Bainbridge
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1994

"A triumph of sympathetic imagination."
In her 14th work of fiction, Bainbridge (An Awfully Big Adventure, 1991, etc.) reconstructs that most poignant of ill-fated journeys, Scott's 1912 South Pole expedition, in the voices of the five explorers who reached the Pole and died soon afterwards. Read full book review >
DISSOCIATED STATES by Leonard Simon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1994

"Simon (The Irving Solution, Reborn) steers his tiny cast through a dozen creepy twists that'll make your flesh crawl without threatening to linger in your mind—and enough Oedipal fantasies for a psychoanalysts' convention."
New York psychiatrist Jacob Silver is treating a stockbroker for disabling headaches; across town, his wife Claire Baxter, also a psychiatrist, is seeing a gifted sculptor with memory loss. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jenny Han
July 6, 2015

In Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You, Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing. View video >