Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1750)

ALL FOR MONEY by Glenn Kaplan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 19, 1993

"Go get 'em, Bob."
Fair-haired publisher Bob Macallan accepts a $10 million buyout offer for his medical-lifestyle magazine Elixir—and then watches the sharks circle as he struggles to meet the revenue quotas that will keep him from losing the money. Read full book review >
SO FAR FROM GOD by Ana Castillo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 17, 1993

"Storytelling skills and humor allow Castillo to integrate essaylike folklore sections (herbal curing, saint carving, cooking)—while political material (community organizing, toxic chemicals, feminism, the Gulf War) is delivered with unabashed directness and usually disarming charm."
Chicana writer Castillo (whose reputation until now has been mostly regional) brings a warm, sometimes biting but not bitter feminist consciousness to the wondrous, tragic, and engaging lives of a New Mexico mother and her four fated daughters. Read full book review >

YUPPIE SCUM by Sean Breckenridge
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1993

"Heavy-handed and rather preachy."
Eighties-rich University of Pennsylvania alumni chase each other around Manhattan, looking for the fiendish former friend who ran off with their life savings and one of their wives. Read full book review >
THE BODY IN FOUR PARTS by Janet Kauffman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1993

"Pretentious deluxe."
Kauffman (Obscene Gestures for Women, etc.) has a mage's weakness for mysterious utterance, the goddess-persona, and a tendency to approach each of her slender, poetic but usually freighted works as though she's revising Ovid along feminist lines. Read full book review >
GOSPEL by Wilton Barnhardt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1993

"Full of historical, religious, and comic flourishes, but misfiring terribly: this is interesting mostly for what it might have been."
To those who've eagerly awaited Barnhardt's follow-up to his acclaimed debut novel, Emma Who Saved My Life (1989), this long- winded and lame excuse for an epic adventure will be a rude surprise. Read full book review >

THE VENUS DEAL by Ken Kuhlken
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1993

"Tangled and murky—long on violence, bloodlust, atmosphere, and loose ends."
A prequel to The Loud Adios (1991) that finds p.i. Read full book review >
VENUS ENVY by Rita Mae Brown
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1993

"Death is like a punctuation mark, a period at the end of a sentence,'' etc.), but her sexual frankness and flippant humor are as refreshing as always. (First printing of 75,000)"
More frothy fun from the queen of southern sexual farce—this featuring a former debutante who comes out of the closet in gossipy, backstabbing Virginia. ``Dying's not so bad. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1993

"Historically vivid and inventive, yet plagued by plunges from storytelling into a mire of prolonged rumination, where the fantasy seems forced and academic."
A collection of fanciful forays into a vibrant century of American history, juxtaposing an analyst's self-absorbed search for inspiration and a more natural, spontaneous approach—from story- writer Garber (Metaphysical Tales, 1981—not reviewed), winner of TriQuarterly's William Goyen Prize for Fiction for 1992. Read full book review >
SECRET STRANGERS by Thomas Tessier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1993

"Tessier works hard, piling his pages with lots of emotion, lurid sex, and bloody action; but Heidi's metamorphosis from teen queen to blackmailer to caped avenger is so unlikely as to seem silly, making this, finally, not much more than a dark-hearted Perils of Pauline."
Tessier's shift from occult horror (Phantom, 1982, etc.) to psychosexual suspense (Rapture, 1987, etc.) hasn't brought his fiction much closer to reality—as witnessed by this far-fetched if fast-moving tale about a teenage girl who takes on a murderous child-sex ring. Read full book review >
TAINTED EVIDENCE by Robert Daley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 1993

"Daley's mean streets don't sweat like Stephen Solomita's, and his Gotham courtroom doesn't crackle like Robert K. Tanenbaum's— but for strong, nonsensational drama that reveals all the rhythms of the city in their intricate syncopation, no one does it better."
All of Daley's thrillers deal with crime and cops, but each from a unique angle—the melodramatic sleuthings of Hands of a Stranger (1985), for instance, or the period capers of the Dangerous Edge (1983). Read full book review >
CLEOPATRA'S SISTER by Penelope Lively
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 1993

"This is amusing in the urbane British way, satiric without ever testing the limits of credibility, larkish but not fluffy—in short, more of the Lively right stuff."
This latest addition to the Lively oeuvre (The Road to Lichfield, City of the Mind, etc.) is a welcome one—a kind of romance with star-crossed lovers and all, but with a lot more sardonicism than Shakespeare ever vented on Romeo and Juliet. Read full book review >
GUEST OF A SINNER by James Wilcox
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 1993

"But at its best, there's a Waugh-like breeziness to this delightful novel with its genial view of human frailty and its overwhelming patience with things absurd."
Wilcox's sixth novel recaptures the antic spirit of his earlier work, after the surprisingly inert Polite Sex (1991); his latest is a convivial romp through contemporary Manhattan—a comedy of errors with all sorts of sexual quandaries, not a few downright crazy characters, and a spiritual dimension to top it all off. 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 >