Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1750)

ARABIAN JAZZ by Diana Abu-Jaber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"The other elements in this mishmash (visiting Jordanians on a credit-card rampage, poor whites tormenting themselves with coathangers and booze) only add to the confusion."
You're an Arab-American writing about your community in your first novel. Read full book review >
THE UNFINISHED by Jay B. Laws
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Given the genre, a good read—and the themes based on gay love and AIDS add an undercurrent of real feeling."
AIDS horror fantasy by Laws, who died at 34, of an AIDS- related illness, a week after completing final changes on the manuscript. Read full book review >

A RIVER SUTRA by Gita Mehta
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Subtle profundity in a beautifully evoked setting—and powerfully understated."
A deceptively simple second novel from author-filmmaker Mehta (Raj, 1989) that—with gentle good humor—addresses an age-old big subject: the workings of the human heart. Read full book review >
WHERE OR WHEN by Anita Shreve
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Love, lust, and redemption all too quickly reduced to sinners who must pay for their sins—but, still, a seductive parable with great mood music."
Shreve, who mixed up such a potent brew of love and tragedy in her earlier Eden Close (1989) and Strange Fits of Passion (1991), serves us something else here—slightly sweeter but also thinner, something that for all its fizz feels flat by the end. Read full book review >
DEATH COMES AS EPIPHANY by Sharan Newman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Like the author's Guinevere trilogy (Guinevere Evermore, 1985, etc.), this offers a most likable heroine who wears well in the stretch."
Medieval mystery and murder, travel and travail, in 1139 France—as a spunky, sensible, determined novice nun joins forces with a sculptor's apprentice to uncover some evil doings. Read full book review >

HOW I CAME WEST, AND WHY I STAYED by Alison Baker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Other pieces here are shapeless or cutesy, but the best are luminous with verbal play and intimations of how ordinary strangeness can be. (Some have appeared in Atlantic, the Best of the West, New Stories from the South and various lit mags.)"
A first collection of stories with great first lines, usually followed by fictions as light as air—some antic or absurd, others delicate or touching. Read full book review >
FULL-BODIED RED by Bruce Zimmerman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Quinn is as good company as ever: it's a pleasure running one step ahead of him all the way to the final payoff."
Bad news for Bay Area phobia therapist Quinn Parker (Blood Under the Bridge, 1989; Thicker Than Water, 1991): his agoraphobic client Phillip Chesterton, winery heir, has vanished; Phillip's bearish stepfather Frank Matson is convinced Quinn knows where he is; and the morning after Quinn and Matson duke it out, Matson disappears himself and the police take on the job of suspecting Quinn. Read full book review >
THE FORMS OF WATER by Andrea Barrett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Strong currents, clear writing, but a crew of characters that misses the boat."
Barrett (The Middle Kingdom, 1991, etc.) returns with her specialty—a story about the tangled web of a family told in prose that's spun smooth as silk. Read full book review >
NUDE MEN by Amanda Filipacchi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Still, an interesting debut."
A young fabulist's highly touted first novel (``already sold in seven countries'') combines the techniques of Thomas McGuane with bits of Lolita and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Read full book review >
FAMILY SECRETS by Nancy Thayer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"A strong performance and a welcome reprise for Thayer's original audience. (First printing of 50,000)"
Thayer's back in form here with a story about mothers and daughters that will remind fans of her earlier, much-admired Three Women at the Water's Edge (1981)—except that, this time, there's less contemplation by the edge of the water. Read full book review >
BOHANNON'S COUNTRY by Joseph Hansen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Not much mystery here, then—these are stories about a detective, his intimates (his traumatized wife Linda, his grizzled buddy George Stubbs, his sometime female companion T. Hodges), and the all-too-human criminals who come across as warmly as their nemesis."
Having concluded his Dave Brandstetter mysteries with A Country of Old Men, Hansen comes up with a second collection of stories featuring Madrone, California, ex-sheriff Hack Bohannon (following Bohannon's Book, 1988)—the title of which is especially apt, since Hack makes only a cameo appearance in one of the five stories and never turns up in a second at all. Read full book review >
STONE BOY by Ronald Levitsky
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"One skeleton too many in the Bear Coat closet and an overextended finale keep this out of the class of Rosen's first two cases—but nobody rivals Levitsky's ability to get you to care about people who turn out to be weaker, greedier, and sadder than you ever imagined."
The murder of rancher Albert Gates shortly after he paid Will True Sky $500 for a sacred medicine bag that the Lakota man had found on Gates's land brings civil-rights lawyer Nate Rosen (The Love That Kills, The Wisdom of Serpents) to Bear Coat, South Dakota, where he finds Will's family—especially his stubborn father Saul True Sky and his half-breed sister Grace Jenkins—locked in a feud with Gates's widow Belle and the town fathers, who want to confiscate a piece of land Saul owns in order to open an Old West theme park in neighboring Tin Town. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >