Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1751)

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY by Michael Guinzburg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Crack City'' is well-observed, but these elements can't support an ultimately slight tale."
Fast-moving, extremely broad satire of 12-Step programs and New York's downtown drug scene; glimmers of cleverness are lost amidst over-the-top violence and constant recourse to the ``silly name'' school of humor. Read full book review >
A TRAITOR'S DAUGHTER by Anna Lorme
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"A relentlessly dark litany of miseries—unrelieved by even the most fleeting lightness—whose impact is undercut by a stilted translation."
An autobiographical novel, first published in France, searingly re-creates one of the darkest periods in Russian history as it tells the story of young Anna—a descendant of intellectuals and nobles who had sided with the Bolsheviks. Read full book review >

ALLENDE by Fernando Alegría
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Not so."
A revised version (and first US appearance) of a work originally published in Spanish in 1989. Read full book review >
SPIDERTOWN by Jr. Rodriguez
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Despite the slack plotting: a piercing and unforgettable cry from the heart of crack-hell."
Undisciplined, weakly plotted first novel—about a young drug- runner who wants out—that offers the most visceral portrait of crack-curdled inner-city life since Richard Price's Clockers, and likely the most authentic ever: Rodriguez is a native of the South Bronx, which he also brought to vividly garish life in the collection The Boy Without a Flag. Read full book review >
NOBODY'S FOOL by Richard Russo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"He leaves the impression of a writer who has reached a plateau but is unwilling or unable to move on."
Set in upstate New York like its predecessors (Mohawk, 1986; The Risk Pool, 1988), Russo's third is a slice of small-town life: thick slice, big cast, much bustle, but no storyline, no climax, no epiphanies. Read full book review >

TO KILL THE LEOPARD by Theodore Taylor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"You really are there."
Realistic submarine suspense, set in WW II, by Taylor (Monocolo, 1989; The Stalker, 1987), who's also written a number of YA novels (The Weirdo, The Cay, etc.). Read full book review >
IONA MOON by Melanie Rae Thon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Thon writes capably, but her prose is not yet powerful enough, nor her characters autonomous enough, to make her monochromatic world memorable."
Lives overflowing with pain are what Thon offers in her second novel (following Meteors in August, 1990), this time focusing on three Idaho teenagers. Read full book review >
SEPARATE ROOMS by Pier Vittorio Tondelli
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"A sweet-natured swan song, and a notable addition to the gay- fiction bookshelf."
From the late Tondelli (who died in 1991 of AIDS), a first US publication: the story of Italian writer Leo's pilgrimage in search of gay love and, especially, in homage to Thomas, with whom he enjoyed the affair of his life. ``Into Silence'' (the first of three movements—Thomas was a musician) finds Leo flying to Munich, Thomas's hometown, and flashing back to his first meeting with his German lover—who was not ``a Whitman'' (i.e., promiscuous) but had ``an aura of tenderness.'' Tondelli's prose lyrically evokes Leo's yearning and the arc of the affair while also providing a tour of European gay lifestyles before fast-cutting to Thomas dying in Munich and an hallucinogenic dark night of the soul for Leo. Read full book review >
THE HARD TO CATCH MERCY by William Baldwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"That's a pity, too, because overall Baldwin's debut has considerable charm, tall tales and all. (First printing of 20,000)"
Episodes from a southern boyhood: family intrigue, post-Civil War history, race, religion, and superstition are all part of the mix in Baldwin's meandering first novel. Read full book review >
THE DEEP BLUE MEMORY by Monique Urza
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"A brocade of bright conceits that needs more air and space."
A meditative, richly imaged (perhaps a shade too richly) fictional memoir having to do with the secret darks and the secure, loving frame of family. Read full book review >
GAI-JIN by James Clavell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"You get your money's worth if you want to spend it here."
Back to feudal Japan, which now enters the modern world, from the master of the three-decker behemoth (Shogun, Tai-pan, Noble House, etc.). Read full book review >
BY THE SWORD by Greg Costikyan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1993

"Costikyan makes no claim to seriousness or originality, but his engagingly lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek adventure is expertly tuned and pitched for the fantasy-gamer audience."
Heroic fantasy with a twinkle in its eye and a spring in its step: the novel version of an on-line computer network serial written by noted fantasy-game author Costikyan. 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 >