Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1788)

GENTLE FROM THE NIGHT by Meagan McKinney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"But once the dam broke into madness, there was no bucket large enough to put the water back''), in a work often bordering on camp."
McKinney (A Man to Slay Dragons, 1995, etc.) writes an old-fashioned gothic to which she adds a little S&M. On the bleak and misty Yorkshire moors lies the ancestral home of the Newells, Cairncross Castle, looking ``like a gargoyle crouched by the sea.'' It is here that Alexandra Benjamin comes to help and work with a 30-year-old man with the mind of a child. Read full book review >
TRADING REALITY by Michael Ridpath
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Smooth and brimming with high-tech gimmicks: perfect for those who prefer no-brainer fiction; for the rest, this may seem a vapid tale peopled by flat characters. ($50,000 ad/promo)"
Keen to capitalize on his debut, Free to Trade (1995), a bestselling bond-market thriller, London-based Ridpath once again relies on his City trading know-how, but this time adds a dash of bonnie Scotland (in the form of a computer company specializing in virtual reality applications) to freshen the mix. Read full book review >

PROMISED LAND by Connie Willis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Light, amusing, and well worked out: a vast improvement over the wretched Light Raid (1989)."
After expensive schooling off-planet, Delanna Milleflores returns to planet Keramos intending to stay just long enough to settle her recently deceased mother's estate. Read full book review >
RAGE OF SPIRITS by Noel Hynd
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"A quick, choppy, thoroughly preposterous read that forces campy, direct-to-video B-movie horror clichÇs into a blandly paranoid landscape of Washington intrigue."
Washington thriller with a psychic spin, pitting a wishy-washy White House aide against a telekinetic sociopath, a superstitious vice president, a witchy spirit medium, and the ghost of a murdered novelist. Read full book review >
DREAM LOVER by Virginia Henley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"A few sordid moments, but should satisfy romance readers who like their stories sensuous. (Author tour)"
In historical romances, where sex ranges from a premarital chaste kiss to a velvetized version of down-and-dirty, British veteran Henley weighs in at the erotic end. Read full book review >

SPIRITS OF THE ORDINARY by Kathleen Alcala
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Some characters seem more decorative than essential, but, still, Alcal† offers a beautifully imagined if quiet portrait of the insistent urgings of the human spirit."
Like a vivid dream, this debut novel, the first of a projected trilogy by the Mexican-American author (Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, 1992: stories), blurs fantasy and reality as it details in luminous prose one family's search for identity and meaning. Read full book review >
MY RUSSIAN LOVE by Dan Franck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Chalk up another hit for the formula writers."
Following the success of his debut novel, Separation (1994), a large bestseller in France, Franck has chosen to continue in a similar vein, simply substituting for that story's anguished images of a failing marriage the exquisite, excruciating memories of a perfect first love nipped in the bud. Read full book review >
THE ORDINARY SEAMAN by Francisco Goldman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"A bizarre set of circumstances (inspired by a true story) vividly wrought, but even more memorable is Goldman's fresh and moving take on such matters as longing, love, cruelty, and fellowship, probed in a poignant and original narrative. (First printing of 35,000; $50,000 ad/promo)"
Goldman's acclaimed debut, The Long Night of the White Chickens (1992), proves to have been no fluke: Its successor is an equally compelling saga of a crew of poor, would-be Central American sailors stranded aboard the rat-infested hulk of a dead ship. Read full book review >
DEEP WATERS by Jayne Ann Krentz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Intermittently hokey and unsurprising, but, still, with an appealing drive."
With her customary offbeat setting and flair for the supernatural, Krentz (Absolutely Positively, 1996, etc.) offers a tale that depends heavily on the other elements in her standard formula: one-part romance, one-part mystery, with a dash of sex and adventure for good measure. Read full book review >
BRIAR ROSE by Robert Coover
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"But his reluctance to finally settle for any culminating metaphor makes this unique work seem more of a collection of masterful, cerebral turns than a living, persuasive tale."
A tour de force that rings an astonishing series of changes on the familiar fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. Read full book review >
CARN by Patrick McCabe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Marvelously rendered and deeply felt: a story about the inescapable impact of Irish history on Irish life that's told with an immense, quiet power."
The first US publication of an early novel by McCabe (the acclaimed Butcher Boy, 1993, and The Dead School, 1995) once again demonstrates his unsparing, precise view of the mingled anger, sorrow, and boredom at the heart of modern Irish life. Read full book review >
NATURAL BRIDGES by Debbie Lynn McCampbell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Altogether, an intelligent celebration of the sometimes conflicting forces of family loyalty and romantic love."
An accomplished debut novel about a family that lives in one of those rural locales where the old are ornery, the middle-aged disappointed, and only the young happy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >