Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1751)

HOUSE OF DREAMS by Brenda Joyce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Wide-eyed genre clichés alternate with steamy boudoir scenes, in a romance sure to delight readers who can't find paperbacks featuring white-clad damsels fleeing moonlit Gothic towers anywhere in their local supermarkets."
An unquiet ghost stalks her living descendants, seeking vengeance for a long-ago betrayal. Read full book review >
THE LAST HOLLYWOOD ROMANCE by Beverly Bloomberg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Light, cute, and sporadically entertaining, but also obvious and immediately forgettable."
Bloomberg wrote for shows like Happy Days and Welcome Back, Kotter. Read full book review >

BUTTERFLY BURNING by Yvonne Vera
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Evocative but drenched in often overwrought imagery ('sees the sky peel off the earth that is the distance between the land and the sky'; 'her body a flame searching: nothing can sanction courage but desire') that makes for a diffuse fable more than a particularized novel."
A poignant tale of love and ambition overwhelmed by self-consciously poetic prose: in a first US appearance for Zimbabwean author Vera. Read full book review >
NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A contemporary equivalent of This Side of Paradise or Vile Bodies, and another solid building-block in one of contemporary fiction's most energetic and impressive bodies of work."
A first US appearance of a novel originally published in 1987, this crisp portrayal of "flaming youth" in the late 1960s proves one of Murakami's most appealing—if uncharacteristic—books. Read full book review >
LATINO U.S.A. by Ilan Stavans
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Despite some odd byways, and an occasional clumsy sentence, a cartoon history for everyone: painless, witty, and inviting."
Educational comics have an honorable history, forged in the US by the visual didact Larry Gornick, and in Latin America by Rius, to whom Stavans (Amherst) and his artist collaborator pay tribute in their cartoon overview of Latin culture's relation to the US. Read full book review >

BABY’S BREATH by Lynne Hugo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"What should be a searing tragedy is instead another unconvincing take on mothers and daughters who love each other but are too dumb and defensive to open up until it's almost too late."
A vividly detailed but unpersuasive second novel tries to show why a college freshman denies her pregnancy and then abandons her newborn baby. Read full book review >
A CURE FOR GRAVITY by Arthur Rosenfeld
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Awkward analogies ('clouds gathered like councilmen') and a tendency to indicate Hispanic speakers by substituting 'ju' for 'you' ('ju kiddin' me?' etc.) are minor distractions in a zesty, comic, high-speed American gothic."
Beset by ghosts, cops, and a nasty tornado, a bank robber and a drifter meet by chance in a picaresque cross-country road trip. Read full book review >
KILL THE SHOGUN by Dale Furutani
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Off-handedly bloodthirsty work by combatants who routinely remove their shoes first so as not to dirty the floor."
To complete his 17th-century samurai trilogy (Death at the Crossroads, 1998; Jade Palace Vendetta, 1999), Furutani sends honorable warrior Matsuyama Kaze on a quest to find the prepubescent girl-child of his slain Lord and Lady. Read full book review >
WHAT ARE YOU LIKE? by Anne Enright
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"The story's structure is too loose to be compelling, but newcomer Enright's lyrical language bespeaks her talent."
This Irish writer's American debut offers stunning images, though not enough story to make the evocative language truly resonant. Read full book review >
AN EMPIRE OF WOMEN by Karen Shepard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A cerebral study of self-absorbed women that never dares to question its own artistic pretensions."
A half-successful debut focusing on three very different women and the family ties that keep them together despite their outsider status in three different cultures: Chinese, French, and American. Read full book review >
ASSORTED FIRE EVENTS by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A few of the longer, more conventional tales flesh out character and eschew the simply bizarre to explore the landscape of the God-worried, the guilt-ridden, the death-haunted. But Means's artsy gestures undercut his better intentions."
A second collection by the author of A Quick Kiss of Redemption (1991) continues the search for redemption in short fictions (some from Harper's, most from little mags) that borrow their lyric style from the groggiest sort of contemporary long-line poetry. Dabbling in self-consciousness, Means plays with punctuation and ellipses; he often goes streamy when the narrative most demands clarity. Read full book review >
SETTING FIRES by Kate Wenner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Wenner is a skilled writer who weaves an entertaining debut tale while offering a truthful and touching portrait of a family held together—and torn apart—by guilt and lies."
A middle-aged woman explores the origins of a fire that guts the family's weekend home—and comes to grips with the death of her father. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >