Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1809)

SURVIVAL RATES by Mary Clyde
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1999

"Clyde knows her world well and manages to offer a fair representation of it, but there's a lack of depth to her sketches that make them seen like just that—quick studies."
Decently done but unremarkable debut collection, the recipient of this year's Flannery O—Connor Award for Short Fiction. Read full book review >
LOVING YOU WAS MY UNDOING by Javier Gonzalez-Rubio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1999

"The only thing, however, that lifts this novel above mediocrity is Gonzalez-Rubio's deft analysis of the suffocating traditional mores that shape his characters inexorably, and foreordain their story's sweeping (it's really the only appropriate word) romantic conclusion."
This simplistic though appealing combination of rousing adventure and tragic love story, which takes place during the Mexican Revolution, was first published in Spanish in 1991. Read full book review >

FREEDOM'S ALTAR by Charles F. Price
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1999

"Well written, and cutting deeply into the theme of racial prejudice."
The sequel to Price's Hiwassee (1996), answering some moral questions left hanging in the earlier novel. Read full book review >
THE IDEALISTS by Henry Carlisle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 24, 1999

"Well-intentioned and well-written, but without the dramatic sweep and tension that would make this horrendous and tragic tale truly memorable."
An intelligent retelling of one of Russia's missed chances—to install a socialist rather than a communist government to succeed the Tsar in 1918—from a veteran writing duo. Read full book review >
THE SNOW FALCON by Stuart Harrison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 22, 1999

"The prose isn—t especially objectionable, but Harrison's promise is dimmed by such an uninventive debut—though probably not his sales potential."
Broken people with troubled pasts but good hearts, along with a crippled animal rescued from a cruel hunter, bring about romance, emotional health, and happy endings for all (including the bird)—in a long, limp, unimaginative first novel set in the Canadian Northwest. Read full book review >

LIFE WITH SWAN by Paul West
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 22, 1999

"On the other hand, what a terrific Valentine's Day present—for Diane Ackerman, and us."
An engaging autobiographical novel, really as much memoir as fiction, from the mandarin stylist renowned for both personal history (A Stroke of Genius, 1995, etc.) and zestfully inventive fiction (Terrestrials, 1997, etc.). Read full book review >
THE KING OF THE ANTS by Zbigniew Herbert
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 18, 1999

"Endymion' (interpreted as a love affair that challenges class boundaries) and 'Securitas' (which deftly dramatizes the Roman Empire's paranoia) are also stand-outs in an odd little book that's simultaneously flimsy and fetchingly urbane."
Eleven retellings of classical and biblical stories, selected The King Of The Ants ($22.00; Feb. 18; 96 pp.; 0-88001-618-3): Eleven retellings of classical and biblical stories, selected from volumes published previously by the great Polish poet and essayist (1924—98) whose fondness for both quaint and curious lore and hybrid literary forms links him with the late Jorge Luis Borges. Read full book review >
LEONARDO'S HANDS by Alois Hotschnig
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 1999

"The novel is hauntingly, and sometimes frustratingly, fragmentary—but Hotschnig efficiently paints a quietly convincing picture of people banished to the very fringes of their own lives, and a world implacably ruled—despite our best efforts to engage it—by accident."
This prizewinning (1992) Austrian novel employs a variety of conflicting voices and narrative forms to examine the conscience and evolving sensibility of Kurt Weyrath, a young engineer whose involvement in an automobile accident leads him to assume a new life—of dedication to the care of another survivor, Anna, a young woman left comatose. Read full book review >
A SUDDEN CHANGE OF HEART by Barbara Taylor Bradford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 16, 1999

"A tired (very tired) homage to sisterhood. (Author tour)"
A listless sojourn in the social realm of ample income, accommodation, and achievement, as Bradford (Power of a Woman, 1997, etc.) visits such hot issues as art stolen from Holocaust victims, incest, and breast cancer. Read full book review >
THE FUNNIES by J. Robert Lennon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1999

"If you believe in it, you'll like Lennon's novel."
A shapeless but engaging portrayal of its underachieving protagonist and narrator is the best feature of this bittersweet second novel by Lennon (The Light of Failing Stars, 1997). Read full book review >
MORE BREAD OR I'LL APPEAR by Emer Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1999

"Startling, distinctive work that's about the way families shape lives, and that charts with a kind of unflinching precision the costs of escaping from the past. (Author tour)"
Irish writer Martin's audacious second novel (after Breakfast in Babylon, 1997) traces the odd lives and uncertain prospects of the five children of a self-absorbed mother and a father hounded by mental illness. Read full book review >
THE VIEW FROM BELOW by Lindsey Crittenden
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 15, 1999

"Pretty thin gruel: well-crafted and meticulous, but not much of a meal—nor our idea of a feast."
Nine stories by a San Francisco writer, most depicting the sadnesses of domestic life. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >