Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1788)

AN ORDINARY WOMAN by Donna Hill
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 11, 2002

"Low-key, oddly unemotional soap, from the author of Rhythms (2001), etc."
Infidelity, followed by endless introspection. Read full book review >
THE AUTOGRAPH MAN by Zadie Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Shrill, labored, and boring. Unless this is actually Smith's first novel, it's a disappointing step backward."
The follow-up to Smith's smashing debut success (White Teeth, 2000, film rights recently sold to Miramax) is an uneasy mix of Sunset Boulevard, J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man, and James McCourt's fey romantic comedies about dementedly self-absorbed beautiful people. Read full book review >

A FEARSOME DOUBT by Charles Todd
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"If everyone would read just one book, any book, by Todd (Watchers in Time, 2001, etc.), and pay close attention to what he's saying, there would never be another war."
As if being bedeviled by Hamish, the ghost of the Scotsman he found it necessary to execute during the Great War, weren't guilt-inducing enough, the Yard's Inspector Ian Rutledge now has to deal with the widow of Ben Shaw, the man he sent to the gallows seven years ago, in 1912. Read full book review >
LOVE FRUSTRATION by RM Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Lubricious trash, the fourth from the bestselling author of The Harris Family (2001)."
Sex and more sex among the buppies of Chicago. Read full book review >
A LITTLE PIECE OF SKY by Nicole Bailey-Williams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Earnest and heartfelt, almost painfully so, but also so marred by self-help platitudes ('My inner self is beautiful') that it can sound like the transcript of a daytime talk show."
A slight debut, originally self-published, about the unhappy childhood and troubled youth of a girl from a poor black family who finds a better life. Read full book review >

THE NAVIGATOR OF NEW YORK by Wayne Johnston
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Marginally less wonderful, then, than The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (1999). But all that means is that it's merely better than about 90 percent of most contemporary fiction. Johnston is a great novelist in the making."
The contrast between men's publicly declared dreams of exploration and discovery and the secrets they withhold from the world: it's this that drives the sixth novel from the prizewinning Canadian author (The Divine Ryans, 1999, etc.). Read full book review >
SALTHILL by Judith Barnes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 7, 2002

"An overwrought style that never lets up, and a first-novelist who can't resist romantic metaphors (eyes are like 'lapis lazuli,' hair is 'berry-dark' and 'berry-sweet,' etc.). Just too much."
Galloping melodrama about a tormented horse-trainer. Read full book review >
IGNORANCE by Milan Kundera
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2002

"An honorable failure: Kundera's taking himself too seriously is offset by his ability to change the subject again and again—though, at end, nothing adds up to much."
Czech émigré Kundera (Identity, 1998, etc.) returns to Prague for this hodgepodge of romance, history, and philosophy. Read full book review >
THE DIVINE ECONOMY OF SALVATION by Priscila Uppal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2002

"Haunting, gripping, and surprisingly nuanced: begins as a simple mystery and turns into a work of great depth and seriousness."
A luminous debut, by Toronto-based Uppal, traces the birth of a young nun's vocation back to an adolescent crime that returns to haunt its perpetrator. Read full book review >
I’LL TAKE YOU THERE by Joyce Carol Oates
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2002

"One senses that Oates is working through deeply personal material here. I'll Take You There may in fact hold important clues to the autobiographical impulses that appear partially to generate and shape her fiction—but it isn't much of a novel."
Oates's 30th full-length novel is one of her most bizarre and unsettling: a monotonous, only intermittently dramatic exploration of a "brilliant" young woman's quest for certainty and human connection, undertaken at a fictional university during the just-beginning-to-be-turbulent early '60s. Read full book review >
THE CONQUEST by Yxta Maya Murray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 2002

"A fluid and genuinely interesting story badly weighed down by leaden prose ('If I prove my hypothesis I will be as clever as any necromancer, for all the dark women of history have lost their tongues') and a thoroughly hackneyed view of Latin American history."
Another ponderous and trendy novel from Murray (What It Takes to Get to Vegas, 1999, etc.), this one about a museum curator's search for the identity of a 16th-century memoirist. Read full book review >
DOOHICKEY by Pete Hautman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 2, 2002

"Since Hautman has excelled in both fairy tales and comic nightmares (Rag Man, 2001, etc.), he's just the craftsman to plunk his appealing hero into the middle of a tale so finely balanced that it could go either way right up to the end."
Yet another struggling businessman with romance in his heart and felony dogging his footsteps. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >