Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1743)

THE SLEEPER WAKES by Marcy Knopf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 30, 1993

"Not always a great read, but the only anthology of its kind."
Fourteen black women write of racism and exploitation, passing southern folkways, social and color discrimination within the black community, and love and corruption among upper-class whites—all in styles that range from romantic melodrama to social realism, irony to broad humor. Read full book review >
LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN by Buddy Giovinazzo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 28, 1993

"Bold songs of the street—not for the squeamish—in the honorable tradition of Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim."
Scratch a city and find its ghetto; scratch its ghetto and find the cesspool of drugs, disease, and despair that first-time author Giovinazzo, a filmmaker, limns in these 16 harsh yet potent vignettes. Read full book review >

SILENT CLOSE No. 6 by Monika Maron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 27, 1993

"Relentlessly somber, rife with ambiguity, and with the day of the funeral used as a recurring theme, this is a bleak, biting reminder that the old Communist order has fallen but that its long shadow remains."
Winner of the 1992 Kleist Prize, the latest novel from Maron (Flight of Ashes, 1986, etc.) continues to probe the grim, repressed world of East Germany under Communist domination, this time from the perspective of a battered survivor. Read full book review >
THE MOON'S WIFE by A.A. Attanasio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 1993

"Frustrating."
Surpassingly curious, dramatically uneven fiction from the author of such diverse offerings as Kingdom of the Grail (historical), Wyvern (pirates and sorcerers), and The Lost Legends of Earth (science fiction). Read full book review >
SWEET DAYS OF DISCIPLINE by Fleur Jaeggy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 1993

"A writer to watch."
Italian writer Jaeggy's fourth book but first to be published here: a short novel that intensely evokes the cruelties and tragedies that flourish in an ``Arcadia of sickness, where something serenely gloomy and a little sick is going on.'' The narrator recalls a time, in postwar Switzerland, when she was a 14-year-old student in a boarding-school for girls from all over the world. Read full book review >

THE RACQUET by George Hitchcock
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 25, 1993

"An amusing tale: fluid and zany, with an unflappable, ever-so- slightly jaded hero and plenty of social commentary."
A second novel (after Another Shore—not reviewed) from the prolific Hitchcock—poet, playwright, painter, short-story writer- -spins a colorful yarn about a young Mexican tennis pro and his overland journey from Canada to home, entering the US for the first time. Read full book review >
THE LIAR by Stephen Fry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 24, 1993

"Too British in its calculated outrageousness to repeat its bestselling performance on this side of the Atlantic, but still dizzyingly, peerlessly sophomoric. (Film rights to Paramount)"
Comic actor/screenwriter Fry (the TV series A Bit of Fry and Laurie, etc.) weighs in with a fulsomely naughty first novel about a lascivious, blandly prevaricating English schoolboy cast adrift at public school, on the streets, at Cambridge, and in MI5. Read full book review >
TESTIMONIES by Patrick O'Brian
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 24, 1993

"A chaste and disciplined prose lend purity to a quiet, tragic idyll for the discriminating reader.'"
A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel—a novel of "unassuming proportion and immaculate design" (Kirkus, August 1, 1952). Read full book review >
CROSSING BY NIGHT by David Aaron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 21, 1993

"Aaron's best yet."
Grand espionage-adventure at the dawn of WW II, with the lovely wrinkle that the spy is a woman: American-born Elizabeth Pack, whose real-life exploits on behalf of the British take on stirring fictional form courtesy of Aaron (Agent of Influence, 1988, etc.) Read full book review >
SCATTERPATH by Maralys Wills
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 20, 1993

"Notwithstanding the author's dead-on command of black-box and procedural detail, then: a clumsy, suspense-free narrative whose cul-de-sac plotting keeps it earthbound."
A would-be shocker that, for all its chillingly authentic asides on air crashes, never gets off the ground. Read full book review >
OPERATION WANDERING SOUL by Richard Powers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 1993

"Mingling wisps of whimsy and a hard-edged, surgical view, this cuts deeply into the human condition—to a dark, profoundly troubled place where hope and despair exist side by side."
Childhood innocence—imperiled through the ages and nowhere more at risk than in the heart of modern Los Angeles—stands as the imposing theme of Powers's latest complex, wrenching saga. Read full book review >
SEAWARD by Brad Leithauser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 1993

"An honest failure by a true master: had Leithauser only tightened (and shortened) the plot he could have hit the mark, but he dawdles his way through and loses his chance."
Leithauser (Equal Distance, 1984; Hence, 1988) peers uncertainly into the more remote corners of the middle-class soul- -in this sadly prosaic account of grief and desire. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >