Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1809)

FROST THE FIDDLER by Janice Weber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"A virtuoso manipulation of hallmark preposterous super-spy novel elements—and it's very, very funny indeed."
The author of two wiseacre, spiky-spoofing comic novels (The Secret Life of Eve Hathaway, 1985; Customs Violation, 1987) sends her heroine, here a secret agent, through a James Bond clutter of frantic antics, sex on the run, and memorable last-second escapes and rub-outs. Read full book review >
SPIES IN THE BLUE SMOKE by G.W. Hawkes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Besides The Atlantic, some of the stories appeared in The Missouri Review and Ploughshares."
A debut volume—13 stories, mostly about off-kilter people haunted by the damaged world that surrounds them—that's notable for its supple, original style, and especially for dialogue that's convincing and various. Read full book review >

OUTNUMBERING THE DEAD by Frederik Pohl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Constructed with the precision and perfect movement of a Swiss watch, but, curiously, emotionally flat and unaffecting."
Illustrated novella set in a medium-future world where immortality is the norm, and lukewarm-fusion technology yields virtually unlimited energy. Read full book review >
DAY OF ATONEMENT by A. Alvarez
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Slackly plotted—its title, despite Alvarez's best efforts, an empty promise—but still a highly effective mood piece, right down to the appropriately bleak anticlimax."
The sudden death (heart failure brought on, it turns out, by torture) of their generous wheeler-dealer friend Tommy Apple plunges Joe and Judy Constantine into a half-lit world of criminal scams and unscrupulous cops. Read full book review >
NIGHT ROAMERS by Knut Hamsun
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Bad Days''), some of it so slight that Hamsun himself disavowed it."
Some previously unpublished Hamsun fragments and sketches are translated here, quite nicely by Tiina Nunnally, though with only a few being of interest to the non-Hamsun-scholar. Read full book review >

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Previous high standards maintained, with Warren as the nonfictional benchmark and plenty of varied, absorbing fiction."
The Science Fiction Writers of America's choices for the best science fiction and fantasy stories of 1992: three stories, five novelettes, a novella, two poems, two tributes (the late Donald A. Wolheim, of DAW books; a Grand Master award for Lester del Rey) and two overviews. Read full book review >
THE LIGHT OF HOME by R.C. Binstock
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Binstock has a deft touch at best—but is too interested in withholding vital information for the sake of a minimalist aesthetic."
A first collection of 17 stories that's very much a first collection: some top-drawer touching stories, told from both male and female perspectives, and some cluttered or sparse pieces—all mostly about loneliness and the distance between people. Read full book review >
SUMMER RAIN by Marguerite Duras
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Slight and silly and adrip with intellectual attitude."
Duras, in an afterword, explains that this present book was written as a kind of appendage to and reworking of a movie she'd made, The Children. Read full book review >
TRESPASSING HEARTS by Julie Ellis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"No surprises from the author of Loyalties, No Greater Love, etc. A superficial, ho-hum treatment of a familiar scenario."
Predictable, formulaic wartime romance between a poor Jewish nobody girl who falls in love with a wealthy New York Wasp. Read full book review >
THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE OF DEATH by Mark Richard Zubro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Undemanding fare, but the school politics are dead-on, and Tom and Scott have become the sort of interesting couple one might like to have over for dinner."
Grover Cleveland High School teacher Tom Mason and his lover, superstar pitcher Scott Carpenter (Sorry Now?, The Only Good Priest, etc.), the gay counterparts of Mr. and Mrs. North, delve into the murder of school principal Robert Jones, who may have been silenced by Dan Bluefield, the school bully, or by any one of a number of faculty members whom Jones had reprimanded—including the guidance counselor, who kept seducing students; an old-timer who's been coasting along until retirement; an ineffectual student teacher; the drama coach, who's got shady talent-agency ties; even an alcoholic custodian who was going to be fired. Read full book review >
A MAN'S PLACE by Annie Ernaux
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Moving and memorable."
An austere but poignant account from acclaimed French writer Ernaux of those ties that bind as well as separate fathers from daughters, in this companion volume to last year's A Woman's Story. Read full book review >
OVER THERE by Thomas Fleming
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"An intriguing enough story of an emerging new world (and most especially of a new and modern-style woman), but even Fleming fans will have to be willing to plow through an abundance of pedestrian and (especially in matters sexual) awkward prose."
Historical novelist Fleming (The Officer's Wives, 1981; Time and Tide, 1987, etc.) offers a melodramatic saga set against the backdrop of the First World War. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >