Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1756)

Released: May 1, 1994

"A strong, self-assured debut."
Short stories of broke, drink-sodden Scottish youths in various states of distress: a powerful first book by a furiously talented 27-year-old writer. Read full book review >
JULIP by Jim Harrison
Released: April 29, 1994

"Like most people, Harrison's characters are caught right in the middle."
A hit and two misses by novelist, poet, and journalist Harrison (Dalva, 1988; Legends of the Fall, 1979). Read full book review >

THESE SAME LONG BONES by Gwendolyn M. Parker
Released: April 27, 1994

"Rich material ruined by cloying treatment."
Parker has two stories to tell in her first novel. Read full book review >
TWO STORIES OF PRAGUE by Rainer Maria Rilke
Released: April 22, 1994

"But they will interest readers concerned with Rilke's literary development and with how his young mind grappled with some of the cultural problems of his day: Prague's relationship to Western Europe, particularly Germany, and the distemper of Europe at the turn of the century."
That these two early stories by Rilke (``King Bohush'' and ``The Siblings'') are being released now may say more about the growing American interest in Prague than about any concern for the poet's apprentice fiction. Read full book review >
Released: April 21, 1994

"Others will note the artificially heightened prose, the clever mechanics, the polished inventiveness, the ulterior meanings, and they will remain emotionally unmoved."
Four novellas, two previously unpublished, from the author of the acclaimed Was (1992) and The Child Garden (1990). ``The Unconquered Country'' (1986), Ryman's allegorical dark fantasy about Cambodia and Vietnam, has previously appeared as a book in its own right. ``O Happy Day!'' (1985), a tale of sociobiology and feminist backlash, features a transit camp run by homosexual men to which trainloads of males are dispatched for extermination by the feminists now controlling the country. Read full book review >

BREATH, EYES, MEMORY by Edwidge Danticat
Released: April 20, 1994

"An impressive first outing."
Sexual traumas link a Haitian mother and her daughter in this wonderfully self-assured debut by 24-year-old Haitian-American Danticat. Read full book review >
Released: April 19, 1994

"The New Yorker eats this stuff up; readers will find Nelson either enchanting or boring."
Seven stories (two of them award-winners, ``Naked Ladies'' in Best American, ``Dirty Words'' in O. Henry) and a novella, done up in a kind of flip realism that subjects relationships to breezy examination. Read full book review >
AS MAX SAW IT by Louis Begley
Released: April 18, 1994

"Nonetheless, As Max Saw It is an enjoyable read, most notably for the magnificent character of Charlie Swan, a man so outsized in his feelings and appetites that he dwarfs everyone else in the novel."
In a novel seemingly about a man's coming to terms with his own humanity and the depth of feeling within his heart, Begley (The Man Who Was Late, 1993; Wartime Lies, 1991) is unlikely here to evoke any depth of feeling in the reader's heart. Read full book review >
A DISTURBANCE IN ONE PLACE by Binnie Kirshenbaum
Released: April 18, 1994

"Juicy sexual history, but mysteriously un-nourishing."
Set in New York, like its frivolous predecessor On Mermaid Avenue (1993), Kirshenbaum's second novel takes a semiserious look at adultery. ``I have broken seven of the Ten Commandments,'' the nameless heroine tells us, adding, ``Guilt does not prey on me. Read full book review >
Released: April 18, 1994

"Although it doesn't have much staying power, this is a thoroughly enjoyable group of stories that tweaks bureaucracy and turns expectations around."
These allegorical stories from a Chinese master delight with spare language and wry hidden meanings. Read full book review >
TWICE BURIED by Steven Havill
Released: April 18, 1994

"But Bill and his hardscrabble neighbors—especially Estelle, who seems destined for a return to Posadas next time—are as modestly appealing as ever, and in his third outing, he does his best detective work yet."
What connection could there be between the ``accidental'' death in her own basement of long-retired schoolmarm Anna Hocking and equally ancient Reuben Fuentes's paranoid rumblings about the people who poisoned his dogs? Read full book review >
Released: April 18, 1994

"Devotees will be too grateful to complain about its absence, or about the inevitable unevenness of the assembled works—nor will they be foolish enough to devour this sumptuous feast in a single sitting."
A three-scoop helping of Holmesiana ranging from reprints of classic parodies by Bret Harte and O. Henry to evergreen pastiches by Vincent Starrett, August Derleth, and Stuart Palmer to new stories by Jon Koons, Roberta Rogow, and Carole BuggÇ (whose ``Adventure of the Tongue-Tied Tenor'' is a particular standout). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >