Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1768)

THE RESTRAINT OF BEASTS by Magnus Mills
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"All the same, a strongly imagined and more than promising first effort."
The hopeless task of disciplining two unruly slackers (which is just one of its clever title's implied meanings) gives substance—and allegorical form—to this flinty first novel by a British writer whose grim humor has been compared to that of Irvine Welsh. Read full book review >
THE VOYAGE OF THE NARWHAL by Andrea Barrett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"You feel she could do full justice to it, or indeed whatever subject she chooses. (Author tour)"
Barrett's impeccably researched and stunningly written tale of a star-crossed Arctic voyage—a logical successor to such earlier fiction as The Forms of Water (1993) and the National Book Award—winning Ship Fever—is, simply, one of the best novels of the decade. Read full book review >

GHOST TOWN by Robert Coover
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"An adult western, in all, from a grand master of the hyperbolic surreal."
Hyper-parodist and gifted wordsmith Coover (Gerald's Party, 1986; A Night at the Movies, 1987; etc., etc.) strikes again, taking on the chaps, six-guns, and saloons of a mythic Wild West with an intensity sometimes tedious but brilliant on the whole. Read full book review >
COLLECTED FICTIONS by Jorge Luis Borges
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Authoritative testimony to the virtues of eclecticism and cosmopolitanism, and a matchless gift to readers that belongs, as the old saying goes, in every library. (First serial to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Grand Street)"
Mirrors, labyrinths, libraries, gardens, doppelgÑngers, knife fights, and tigers recur memorably in these witty, colorful tales—which have exerted an incalculable influence on the past half-century's fiction. Read full book review >
BIRDS OF AMERICA by Lorrie Moore
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"She's an original, and she's getting better with every book."
A fine new collection of 12 stories notable for their verbal wit and range of intellectual reference—the third such from the highly praised author of Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994) and Like Life (1990). Read full book review >

FATHER OF LIES by Brian Evenson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"An investigation of the perverse that, however impassioned in aim or zealous in its own message, remains distractingly cartoon-like and thin."
Storywriter Evenson (Altmann's Tongue, 1994) makes his novel debut with a timely, readable, but debilitatingly stiff exploration of hypocrisy and religious zeal. Read full book review >
CLOSED IN SILENCE by Joan M. Drury
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Not so much a whodunit, then, as a what-if-she-did-do-it, with the mystery used to dramatize debates whose outcome is never in doubt."
Twenty years after their college graduation, six women meet on a tiny island in Puget Sound for an informal reunion. Read full book review >
SHIMMER by Sarah Schulman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Agitprop, pure and simple: The physical details of the period are nicely evoked, but the story itself is more a crude rant than a perceptive reprise of an era."
A pretentious lefty fairy tale of postwar New York by philosophe-novelist Schulman (Rat Bohemia, 1995, etc.), who tries—with a lot of cultural name-dropping and the usual references to Joseph McCarthy—to introduce us to an era and place that we have met many times already. Read full book review >
BLAST FROM THE PAST by Kinky Friedman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Fully the equal of Road Kill (1997), though, as usual with Kinky, the hardest thing to detect is the plot."
After ten inimitably ribald adventures, it's about time that rocker/raconteur Friedman served up an account of how he became a shamus in the first place, and so his magic carpet takes us back to 1979. Read full book review >
TWO FOR THE DEVIL by Allen Hoffman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"And he hasn—t lost his taste for the miraculous nature of the everyday, a fascination that makes him one of the logical heirs to the legacy of Isaac Bashevis Singer. (Author tour)"
Hoffman's latest and bleakest work—the third in his Small Worlds cycle (Small Worlds, 1996; Big League Dreams, 1997)—continues the saga of the disciples of the Krimsker Rebbe in the darkening years of the —30s and —40s. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"If Coppola or Scorsese ever repent for their glamorization of the underworld, this is the perfect novel to bring to the big screen: the ordinary people of Merullo's realist fiction, no easy saints themselves, testify to the true meaning of familial love."
Merullo's third novel nicely combines the strengths of his first two: it's as beautifully written as his first, Leaving Losapas (1991), and as smoothly plotted (and commercial) as his second, A Russian Requiem (1993). Read full book review >
YO YO BOING! by Giannina Braschi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"This in-your-face assertion of the vitality of Latino culture has many agreeable moments, but—let's face it—how much of its potential readership will be able to understand more than half of it?"
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >