Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1768)

REALITY AND DREAMS by Muriel Spark
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 28, 1997

"Profound art disguised as a lark."
You know you're in the hands of a master when her sleek and suggestive new novel, a sophisticated comedy of manners, is so smart and seductive that you fail to notice how completely you've accepted a world gone utterly awry. Read full book review >
COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER by Michael Ondaatje
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 1997

"That's his triumph; his downfall is that, despite the lusty milieu, the freewheeling passions, and the vivid, fact-based characters (like Bellocq, photographer of prostitutes and self-arsonist), Buddy Bolden's life never seems as real, immediate, or important as the elaborate variations on it."
Ondaatje is a Canadian poet (the stunning Collected Works of Billy the Kid), and his first full-length stretch of prose is one of the more successful resolutions of a poet/novelist identity crisis. Read full book review >

LIFE IN THE WORLD OF WOMEN by Maxim  Jakubowski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 1997

"More a spiky pillow book than a crime collection, but the hints of J.G. Ballard and James M. Cain provide virtually the only narrative impetus at all."
London bookseller/anthologist Jakubowski (the New Crimes series, etc.) has come up with an early contender for the most hilariously inappropriate title of the year. Read full book review >
THE DOG KING by Christoph Ransmayr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 1997

"Not the masterpiece it obviously aims to be, but a fascinating and provocative fiction nevertheless."
A complex and frequently portentous novel about the lingering aftermath of the Holocaust, from German author Ransmayr (The Terrors of Ice and Darkness, 1991, etc.). Read full book review >
NORMAL by Lucia Nevai
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 20, 1997

"Some of the shorter pieces beg for development, and settle too readily for cynicism and glibness, but the strongest stories here make it clear that Nevai is a real talent with a ready wit and a steady gaze."
The most agreeable pieces in Nevai's second collection (Star Game, 1987) suggests that social workers rush in where angels fear to tread, which is a welcome view in fiction largely concerned with family dysfunction, alcoholism, divorce, and madness—in short, with families who desperately need help. Read full book review >

WILL YOU HOLD ME? by Christopher Kenworthy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1997

"A frustratingly uneven, though generally promising, debut."
Will You Hold Me? Read full book review >
READING IN THE DARK by Seamus Deane
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 1997

"One of the year's most notable debuts. (First printing of 35,000)"
A grim, absorbing portrait of childhood in Northern Ireland in the 1950s, distinguished by a language of great clarity and vigor and by a relentless exploration of the corrupting power of secrets and fear. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 17, 1997

"Fine fiction along with valuable insights: another excellent compendium."
The Nebula Awards of 1995, as voted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Read full book review >
CLOUDY IN THE WEST by Elmer Kelton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 17, 1997

"Adventure aplenty, and no lack of trademark historical detail, but plot and characters are a tad formulaic here, making this a less engrossing yarn than its predecessors."
From award-winning western yarnspinner Kelton (The Pumpkin Rollers, 1996, etc.) comes his 36th, the tale of a gentle Texas boy forced by harsh circumstances to come of age while on the run from both the law and a murderous stepmother. Read full book review >
BILLY GASHADE by Loren D. Estleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1997

"A fine picaresque tale that brings to vivid, mock-heroic life many of American history's western icons. (Author tour)"
In a delightful if remarkably unsentimental change of pace, Estleman (Stress, 1996, etc.) offers an engaging account of an innocent abroad in the Wild West. Read full book review >
THE SWORDFISH by Hugo Claus
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1997

"The sooner the better."
A brilliant novella that incisively portrays a lonely boy's passage through obsessive religiosity toward madness, from the great Belgian author of The Sorrow of Belgium (1990) and other highly acclaimed works as yet mostly untranslated. Read full book review >
WORKING PARTS by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 1997

"A modest, straightforward debut whose likable characters and honest approach make up for the simple plotting."
A spirited, conversational narrative improves a somewhat predictable debut novel (after the story collection Sweat, 1995) featuring the irascible Lori Taylor, a lesbian bicycle mechanic struggling to overcome adult illiteracy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >