Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1809)

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES by Margaret George
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 1992

"With a seamless use of original letters, diaries, and poems: a popular, readable, inordinately moving tribute to a remarkable queen."
By the author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII (1986), another vast involvement with a legendary royal. Read full book review >
NIGHTMARE FLOWER by Elizabeth Engstrom
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 1992

"Often inventive and fanciful, pat and pulpy, goose-bump yarns, many of which have appeared in horror, fantasy, and sf mags."
Engstrom, author of the interesting Lizzie Borden (1991), has labored in the horror genre before (When Darkness Loves Us, 1985) with uncertain results. Read full book review >

HELEN and THE GIRLS by Hollis Summers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 1992

"Welcome grace notes to an accomplished writer's life."
Subtle evocations of lives shadowed by sadness and disappointment but saved by love—in two novellas by the late Summers (Standing Room, 1984, etc.). ``I walk a tightrope,'' asserts Ben Adams (in ``Helen'') as he begins to type his story at his lakeside cabin. ``I suppose every man walks a tightrope between sanity and depression, or perhaps desperation is a kind of sanity.'' Ben, an admitted Victorian, feels that he's been drowning in the stifling order of his monogrammed life—``A.V.A. the percale sheets say, Our lives monogrammed.'' Married to the exhaustingly capable Anita, whose favorite response is ``beautiful,'' Ben feels alienated as well from his relentlessly cheerful family, scarred by an unhappy childhood, and bored by his work—certainly not the stuff of tragedy, these smaller griefs of everyday life, though no less wearing in their effects. Read full book review >
SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 1992

"Example: 'He could smell her faint perfume' returns to its original, 'He could smell her faint natural perfume, and it drove him wild with hunger."
When Sons and Lovers was first seen by its reading public in 1913, its publishers had in fact, out of caution and timidity, shortened Lawrence's originally submitted version by about ten percent—cuts that are restored in this new "uncensored and uncut" edition. Read full book review >
CHANGES AT FAIRACRE by Miss Read
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 17, 1992

"As always, there are the line drawings by John S. Goodall."
A 35th appearance for the author, who, here, takes leave of Friends of Thrush Green (1991) to chronicle neighborly doings in the English village of Fairacre and changes in the career of schoolmistress Miss Read, who narrates. Read full book review >

THE HIGHWAYMAN AND MR. DICKENS by William J. Palmer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 17, 1992

"More on the way."
This surprisingly formulaic sequel to The Detective and Mr. Dickens (1990) gets off to a brisk start with that staple of Victorian fiction, coitus interruptus, as a knock on the door brings Wilkie Collins and his sluttish doxy, Irish Meg, news that amiable lowlife Tally Ho Thompson has been arrested for two murders in a house he insists he'd been paid to break into by actor Dickie Dunn. Read full book review >
THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

"Les Nerds du Mal—and about as deep (if not nearly as involving) as a TV movie."
The Brat Pack meets The Bacchae in this precious, way-too-long, and utterly unsuspenseful town-and-gown murder tale. Read full book review >
HELLBURNER by C.J. Cherryh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

"A disappointment after sparkling work last time out."
Direct sequel to Heavy Time (1991) and part of Cherryh's medium-future Company Wars spacefaring saga (Cyteen, etc.) about a thoroughly disunited Solar System facing invasion by genetically engineered superman. Read full book review >
CLOSING DISTANCE by Jim Oliver
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

"Utterly moronic, and very likely to succeed."
Oliver's first novel tells the story of a not-so-young man who has to come to grips with—take a guess—mortality, as it invades his life through his mother's fight with cancer and his own fear of AIDS. Read full book review >
VANISHING POINTS by Thea Astley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

"Sometimes cerebrally overengaged in style, but always fresh and inventive."
Throughout this Australian writer's harsh-to-playfully satiric novels (Hunting the Wild Pineapple, 1991, etc.), the massive idiocy of institutionalized greed—an individual's or a country's—is dismembered sinew-by-socket. Read full book review >
TORNADO PRATT by Paul Ableman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 1992

"Fine entertainment."
A rambunctious fictionalized autobiography (originally published in 1977 in England) about the life of a 20th-century American tycoon. Read full book review >
IN THE FORM OF A PERSON by Ann Pyne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 1992

"The Dead Parts Only''—but Pyne will be an interesting writer to track as she goes on trying to bring into balance her penchant for literary decoration and an unmistakable talent for the gnostic moments that pepper lives lived among other lives."
The sheer unfashionableness of Pyne's debut collection is an excitement. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >