Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1750)

LOOKING FOR MARY GABRIEL by Carole Lawrence
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 13, 2002

"An evocative portrayal of a Baton Rouge childhood, but hampered by contrived 'revelations.'"
Lawrence's debut alternates between 1995 and the early 1950s as an agricultural pamphlet-writer gets a wake-up call from the days when she was known as Bonita Gabriel. Read full book review >
TRUE TO FORM by Elizabeth Berg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"Insights that seem too easily won in a slick story that skims the surface."
Another installment in the life of preternaturally wise military brat Katie Nash (Joy School, 1997, etc.), who over a summer and fall learns about friendship and love: a story that's more well-intentioned manual of life-lessons than engaging drama of adolescent turbulence. Read full book review >

BOOKENDS by Jane Green
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"For a certain middle-of-the-road, book-loving, romantic sensibility, a perfect escape novel. Despite its off-the-charts predictability, only the coldest of hearts will not be warmed."
With more warmth and fuzziness than Harrod's sweater department, up-and-comer Green (Mr. Maybe, 2001, etc.) offers a near-perfect—and near perfectly clichéd—romantic wish-fulfillment fantasy, complete with perfect gay best friend, perfect bookshop, perfect Hugh Grant-like love object, and perfectly coy tricks to keep the lovers apart for 400 pages. Read full book review >
HIS INSIGNIFICANT OTHER by Karen V. Siplin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"Harmless escape—and, as the title says, insignificant."
Another debut novel for the long list of Bridget Jones's Diary wannabes, the heroine a 29-year-old African-American from Brooklyn. Read full book review >
DEADLY EMBRACE by Jackie Collins
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"Preposterous plot, unattractive characters, and crude dialogue make for a lackluster sequel to Lethal Seduction (2001). No razzle-dazzle, no Hollywood cameos, and, worst of all, no shopping."
Celebrity journalist Madison Castelli's life is falling apart. Read full book review >

GETTING OUT by Gwendolen Gross
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"If the fabricated gender-nonspecific machismo of TV's Survivor bores the hell out of you, try this out. It's a charmer."
Even committed couch potatoes should enjoy the graceful blending of outdoor adventuring and wry immersion in family dynamics that distinguishes this engaging second novel by Gross (Field Guide , 2001). Read full book review >
CITY by Alessandro Baricco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2002

"Reading City is like trying to play a newly marketed game whose rules aren't included in the package."
The fourth novel from the Italian author of Silk (1997) and Ocean Sea (1999) is a manic comedy set in the US, about the process of storytelling, as performed by its two protagonists: a precocious 13-year-old boy improbably called Gould, who recounts a rags-to-riches story of an unlikely boxing champion to two effectively captive listeners, and Gould's paid companion (and eventual surrogate mother), the even more improbably named—and characterized—Shatzy Shell. Read full book review >
THE REAL MCCOY by Darin Strauss
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2002

"Not as good as Chang and Eng, then, but not bad at all. Strauss remains one of the most interesting and promising of younger American novelists."
There's ample entertainment value in this rather desperately inventive second historical novel by the author of the highly praised debut tale Chang and Eng (2000). Read full book review >
MARY, CALLED MAGDALENE by Margaret George
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2002

"Engaging and intelligent fiction that celebrates one of Christianity's great women."
George (Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, 1992, etc.) again brings a historical figure to life, this time in a low-key but persuasively feminist take on the early disciple who found Christ's empty tomb. Read full book review >
AMINADAB by Maurice Blanchot
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2002

"More accessible, in any case, than Blanchot's self-referential and discursive later work, this important publication offers the perfect introduction to an elusive, recondite, and unusually rewarding writer."
Blanchot (b. 1907) is a mordant intellectual akin to the late Thomas Bernhard, Beckett, and Kafka, whose increasingly spare fictions (Awaiting Oblivion, English translation 1997, etc.) explore the difficulty and frustration of grasping and communicating meaning in a universe that seems complacently devoid of it. Read full book review >
HAPPINESS™ by Will Ferguson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2002

"Gleefully nasty. If Mel Brooks set The Producers in the publishing industry, he'd come up with something like this."
The fictional debut of Canadian travel-writer Ferguson (Hohhaido Highway Blues, 1998): an uproarious, uneven farce about the publication of the only self-help book that actually helps—and thus brings about "the end of the world (as we know it)." Read full book review >
GETTING OUR BREATH BACK by Shawne Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2002

"A rawer Waiting to Exhale, punctuated by powerful human moments despite run-together, derivative prose."
Three African-American sisters navigate the hostile world of men and drugs in a first novel set in North Philadelphia during the late1960s and '70s. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >