Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1750)

LAND GIRLS by Angela Huth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Engaging, on all fronts."
It's rural England during WW II and the air is heavy with cordite, sheep dung, and romance in this wonderfully wise, evocative, and moving seventh novel by British author Huth (Invitation to the Married Life, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
FLING WITH A DEMON LOVER by Kelvin Christopher James
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Some tantalizing moments that recall James's gift for lyricism and atmosphere, but not enough to give his tale the edge and snap it needs to make it a modern horror tale of eros and evil on the lam. ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
In a disappointing second novel, Trinidadian-born writer James (Secrets, 1993, etc.) explores erotic obsessions on a Greek isle—a place where the present and past converge for a reprise of a number of other tales, ancient and modern, with Hellenic settings. Read full book review >

LORIEN LOST by Michael King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Quirkily charming in a literary way, though many readers will be put off by Milton's lack of substance—or that of any other of King's characters."
A dreamy first novel, owing more than a little to Lewis Carroll, that's set in a wholly imaginary Victorian England. Read full book review >
DIRTY BIRD BLUES by Clarence Major
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"There's a powerful, persuasive use of language here, but it's suspended in too studied a tale—one that never gets cooking."
Major, a prolific man of letters, seems to have abandoned for good the experimental styles that characterized much of his early work (My Amputations, 1986, etc.). Read full book review >
THE LEAST YOU NEED TO KNOW by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Bleak midwestern landscapes well serve many of these stark and solid narratives."
A fine debut of seven stories, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction—all, save one, previously published in literary magazines. Read full book review >

FLIGHTS OF FEAR by Graham Masterton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Too bad, since it sounds like the best."
Following Fortnight of Fear (not reviewed), a second volume of 14 horror stories, few distinguished, by Britain's Masterton, who has 25 horror novels to his name. Read full book review >
LIES OF THE SAINTS by Erin McGraw
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Without rancor, these poignant moral tales gently go beyond most family fiction; they would merit our attention even if that were their only distinction."
A first collection that displays a sure hand and an even voice busily at work documenting the struggles of regular people trying to lead ordinary lives. Read full book review >
DON QUIXOTE IN EXILE by Peter Furst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Peter'' visits (especially Monaco and Yugoslavia) are evoked with specificity and authority, but the character himself, despite occasional outbursts of iconoclastic wit, seems too morose and too passive a recorder to be a protagonist in whom many readers will take much interest."
Don Quixote In Exile ($39.95; paper $15.95; June 1996; 260 pp. 0-8101-1447-X, paper 0-8101-1448-8) This presumably autobiographical novel describes the extended odyssey of a German Jew who leaves his homeland in the 1930s, then spends many years of exile as a journalist careering throughout Europe and later the Caribbean. Read full book review >
THE SWEET EVERLASTING by Judson Mitcham
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"This slender, resonant first novel gives us a protagonist so vividly rendered that his quiet redemption feels like one's own."
An unsparing exploration of a modest, tragic life, in a debut of considerable power. Read full book review >
BEAMING SONNY HOME by Cathie Pelletier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Pelletier hits just the right mix of vulnerability and humor in her latest work, leaving the reader hungry for more."
Pelletier (A Marriage Made at Woodstock, 1994, etc.) is funnier than ever in this sardonic tale of an upstate Maine mother's love for her underachieving son—even as he's taking hostages in his ex-wife's trailer home and babbling to the press that John Lennon made him do it. Read full book review >
HIWASSEE by Charles F. Price
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"But few recent novels have caught with such conviction the true texture and profound emotions of that conflict."
A grim, convincing, remarkably assured first novel about the darker byways of the Civil War. Read full book review >
BLOOD LINES by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"All told, these 11 stories remind you that the indefatigable Rendell is the most versatile, as well as the most penetrating, of contemporary suspense writers."
The keynote in the shorter entries here—some only a few pages long—is a frantic extroversion as the author eyes several disintegrating marriages and imagines her way into the minds of a compulsive shopper, a professional house-sitter, an unusually patient poisoner, and Dickens's Miss Havisham (there's also an oddly perfunctory Browning pastiche). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >