Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1759)

RAVEN by Charles Grant
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"As cool and clean as a snowflake—though this novel, too, melts at the end."
A mysterious stranger stalks a blizzard-bound motel: a tightly wound if familiar exercise in claustrophobic terror by veteran horror novelist Grant (Stunts, 1990, etc.). ``Past sunset in early February, the worst time of the year....Too cold. Read full book review >
STRANGE ATTRATORS by Rebecca Goldstein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Goldstein breaks no new ground in exploring again the paradoxes and implications of mind-body duality—but she develops her theme with such wit and imagination, in styles ranging from gothic to folkloric, that her readers will not mind going along for another ride."
The author of The Mind-Body Problem (1983) and The Dark Sister (1991) again probes the relationship between female intellect and emotion—this time in a sparkling, erudite collection in which brilliant women's minds dictate their romantic attachments while their gender continues to dictate their fate. Read full book review >

POOR THINGS by Alasdair Gray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"And, as an extra bonus, lavish illustrations by the author himself."
The recent winner of Whitbread Novel Award for 1992, as well as the Guardian Fiction Prize: a witty sendup of the Victorian pantheon as Scottish novelist Gray (Sporting Leather, 1991, etc.) masterfully demolishes those scientific, cultural, and social shibboleths that so comforted our forebears. Read full book review >
BROTHER JACOB by Henrik Stangerup
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"These three books make an unassailable case for Danish identity in history, but their good intentions (the Kierkegaard scheme) are never quite realized into fiction of special immediacy or high relief."
Danish writer Stangerup completes a trilogy here—a set of works based on Kierkegaard's understanding of the Tripartite Man. Read full book review >
PROOFS by George Steiner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Rich and challenging, this is a small but significant contribution to what is already an impressive, diverse body of work."
A novella and three offbeat stories represent the return of British culture critic and scholar Steiner (Real Presences, 1989; Martin Heidegger, 1979; etc.) to fiction after more than a decade, displaying his inimitable style and erudition in fine form. Read full book review >

MR. SUMMER'S STORY by Patrick Süskind
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Sometimes verging on the saccharine or the slight, but never calamitously, SÅskind's story offers the pleasures of a modest, private, unassuming glimpse into cosmic grief—the way a first-rate Garrison Keillor monologue can do, say, or a Dylan Thomas memory of long-ago childhood in Wales."
From SÅskind, author of Perfume (1986) and The Pigeon (1988), comes this tiny little pleasure, hardly more than a longish and quietly garrulous short story, about a handful of years in a post- WW II German boyhood. Read full book review >
TONY AND SUSAN by Austin Wright
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Try throwing away the rind and eating the pulp."
Twenty-five years ago, Susan Sheffield divorced her ineffectual husband Edward to marry heart surgeon Arnold Morrow. Read full book review >
CURTAINS FOR THE CARDINAL by Elizabeth Eyre
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Lively but, like Eyre's Death of the Duchess (1992), can't shake the YA label with its jampacked this-is- history-kids tone."
The second appearance of Sigismondo, the Renaissance trouble- shooter for Duke Ludovico of Rocca, finds him at the bedside of expiring Princess Oralia while her husband, evil Prince Livio, beheads his young son—believing that he and his twin sister, Lady Minerva, were begat by another. Read full book review >
THE HOLY THIEF by Ellis Peters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"The pace sometimes slows to a near standstill; the elegant prose is sometimes excessive—but, for the patient, the reward is finely wrought transport to another time."
In 1144, the Benedictine Abbey at Shrewsbury, home of herbalist-humanist-sleuth Brother Cadfael (The Summer of the Danes, etc.), has extended its hospitality to Brother Herluin and his novice attendant Brother Tutilo—both soliciting help for the ravaged Abbey at Ramsey, many miles away, left in shambles by the marauding forces of the Earl of Essex, now vanquished. Read full book review >
INNOCENT DARKNESS by Edward R.F. Sheehan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

Journalist Sheehan wrote eloquent nonfiction about Central American upheaval (Agony in the Garden, 1989); here, however, his North American protagonist clumsily penetrates Mexico's heart of darkness in a heavily strained and racially regressive allegory. Read full book review >
STAINLESS STEEL VISIONS by Harry Harrison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Middling entertainment, with an agreeable host."
Thirteen tales, including one that's previously unpublished, spanning the nearly 40-year career of this Dublin-resident American writer/editor/artist—though the theme or basis for selection (if any) isn't clear. Read full book review >
PURGATORY by Mike Resnick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Another splendidly woven tapestry, the one drawback being its perhaps inevitable similarity to Paradise."
Not so distant: a second science-fictionalized account of Europeans in Africa—Paradise (1989) mirrored the colonial history of Kenya—this time focusing on Zimbabwe. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >