Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1788)

WILD MEAT AND THE BULLY BURGERS by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Too fragmented at the start, but a finish that's more luminous than a Hawaiian sunset. (Author tour)"
A sharp, funny, and fast-paced (occasionally manic) first novel that takes us backstage in paradise—into the very heart and soul (and guts) of a working-class Japanese-American family on the island of Hawaii. Read full book review >
MARABOU STORK NIGHTMARES by Irvine Welsh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Magical, without a hint of cloying sentiment. (First serial to Grand Street)"
Welsh, Scotland's brightest young literary rebel (The Acid House, stories, p. 181), weighs in with a technically dazzling and emotionally wrenching portrait of working-class youth wasted in an emotional vacuum. Read full book review >

DAYS OF DRUMS by Philip Shelby
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Paging Julia Roberts. (First printing of 250,000; film rights to Tri-Star)"
A rookie Secret Service agent's troubles are only beginning when a scheming senator gets killed on her watch—in this fleet political thriller from Shelby, the Los Angeles-based author of This Far From Paradise (1988). Read full book review >
IN THE BEAUTY OF THE LILIES by John Updike
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"On balance, a more than commendable effort from an established master whose preeminence has much to do with his exuberant willingness to keep trying new things."
Updike's bold attempt at the generational saga—the first such novel of his long career—falls somewhere between George Eliot and John O'Hara, and doesn't scruple to provide a few of the simpler pleasures … la Judith Krantz or Harold Robbins. Read full book review >
PUSSY, KING OF THE PIRATES by Kathy Acker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Some nice sacrilegious images will please the armchair rebels among her readers."
Acker (My Mother: Demonology, 1993, etc.) continues her dizzying experiments in fiction—her dream narratives with their loose structure and shifting pronouns—and again punctuates her prose with the same tired insights on sex, class, and politics. Read full book review >

ST. FAMOUS by Jonathan Dee
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Still, the author has much to say about life and art. (Author tour)"
A well-timed and masterful sendup of celebrity, racism, and the justice system in America, by the esteemed author of The Liberty Campaign (1993), etc. Paul Soloway is a man behind his time: Passionate about literature, unfamiliar with the modern art of compromise, the Columbia graduate settles down on Manhattan's Upper West Side to commit his life to great books. Read full book review >
SAMUEL BECKETT: THE COMPLETE SHORT PROSE, 1929-1989 by Samuel Beckett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A laudable book, and essential for the serious student of Beckett."
By gathering Beckett's scattered short pieces, Gontarski has created a volume that few may choose to read whole, but that all with an interest in Beckett will welcome. Read full book review >
REARVIEW MIRROR by Ellen Feldman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Feldman's feminist intentions become murky at times, and the intended suspense is nonexistent, but Hallie and Emma manage to save some face in this lukewarm portrayal of modern womanhood."
Having tackled magazine editors, ghost-writers, and first-time novelists, Feldman (Looking for Love, 1990, etc.), who also writes as Elizabeth Villars, now turns to freelancers and young-adult gurus in her latest spin on Manhattan literati. Read full book review >
THE LEGEND OF THE BAREFOOT MAILMAN by John Henry Fleming
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Best in its views of dreamers facing reality through wildly convoluted decision-making: a gently amusing, lively tale that manages to be diverting without being riveting."
In Fleming's mildly comic debut, 19th-century dreams of riches and renown wither in the Florida wilderness, but an ambitious postmaster stakes his last hopes on a determined young immigrant who wants to redeem himself by carrying the mail. Read full book review >
NOW FACE TO FACE by Karleen Koen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Koen's two storylines—Barbara's life in Virginia and the political upheaval in England—don't mesh well, while her heroine remains unconvincingly high-spirited throughout. (Author tour)"
A disappointing follow-up to Koen's much hoopla'd debut, Through a Glass Darkly (1986). Read full book review >
I, VICTORIA by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Bombay gin."
The prolific British author of historical romances (Fleur, 1993, etc.) and the Bill Slider mysteries gathers here an attractive nosegay tribute to the legendary marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert—though the author's queen is no violet of sentiment (or risible caricature) but ardent, shrewd, and tough. Read full book review >
MIND GAMES by C.J. Koehler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Painstakingly laid out, with a solution that may well catch you off guard; it's the middle range, with its interminable peeling away of guilty secrets, that lags."
``This is just a condominium that offers a few more services,'' Karen Merrick tells Sgt. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >