Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1818)

TWICE BLESSED by Ninotchka Rosca
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 2, 1992

"A low-energy outing, despite the atmosphere of excess."
Manila-born Rosca (The Monsoon Collection, 1983; State of War, 1988, and the nonfiction Endgame: The Fall of Marcos, 1987) continues her less-than-compelling exploration of power, corruption, political and sexual intrigue in the Philippines. Read full book review >
BACK IN THE BLUE HOUSE by Jeff Giles
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 2, 1992

"Type B personality in a home where mother, father, and sister were Type A. Little depth or insight, but an entertaining read; survivors of troubled families who need a break from, or supplement to, 12- step programs may appreciate the author's alternate route: laughing at the past."
Another memoir (this one called ``autobiography-as-novel'') about a dysfunctional family, but instead of inspiration and pop psychology, Giles serves up suburban nightmare as nostalgic sitcom. Read full book review >

RULES OF EVIDENCE by Jay Brandon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"The deft final twist is the best part of this competent but disappointing sequel to Brandon's Edgar-nominated Fade the Heat (1990)."
Black San Antonio lawyer Raymond Boudro takes on the defense of Mike Stennett, a racist cop who's been his longtime adversary, when Stennett's accused of fatally beating Gordon ``Hoss'' Frazier. Read full book review >
TREASURES by Belva Plain
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"Plain's readership is foreordained. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for April)"
Low blows from the high-finance, Wall Street greed-group (and groupies) nearly extinguish the togetherness of three Ohio siblings and families in this hortatory tale, a Plain Bonfire (here, more of a Bic-flick) of contemporary vanities. Read full book review >
BEGIN TO EXIT HERE by John Welter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"Welter admirably balances humor with serious feeling, while Kurt—who sees both clearly and not at all—is maddening, lovable, and possibly capable of change."
Humorist Welter's laugh-out-loud first novel looks at the pain of life and the absurdity of journalism through the eyes of a (chronologically) grown-up Holden Caulfield. Read full book review >

TRUST TERRITORY by Janet Morris
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

Twenty-sixth-century alien-contact yarn, second in the trilogy begun with last year's paperback Threshold. Read full book review >
A CLOSED EYE by Anita Brookner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"The singular attention that Brookner pays to her love-starved protagonist is as impressive as ever, but the lack of events, plus Harriet's inability to change, does the novel in: you can't make bricks without straw."
Another of Brookner's elegiac tales of a wasted life: Harriet Lytton is the latest in a long line of Brookner protagonists too timid to stake their claim. Read full book review >
ANGLE OF ATTACK by Robin A. White
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"Technoweenies can be romantic after all."
American boy technowhiz and stunt aviator meets Soviet girl technowhiz and stunt aviatrix, and they exchange political, technical, and physical intimacies while the world prepares to go to war. Read full book review >
THREE CHILDREN by Lori Toppel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"A charming and atmospheric tale marred by a glaring shortcoming—each narrator sounds indistinguishable from the others in style and consciousness, lulling the action and sense of dramatic consequence like an indolent tropical breeze."
In an intriguing if fuzzily impressionistic first novel, Toppel explores a few years in the life of an affluent American family living in Puerto Rico and New York, telling their story in the alternating voices of three children. ``I trust water,'' confesses 25-year-old Clarissa Lyon. ``I know my limitations in water.'' From the time they are children, growing up pampered in San Juan, Clarissa, Cora, and Michael Lyon live in a world of subtle emotions and complicated emotional bonds. Read full book review >
LEFTOVER DREAMS by Charlotte Vale Allen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"Leftover dreams, in this case at least, don't make for a satisfying meal."
Allen's 27th novel details the generally unremarkable lives of two Canadian sisters, from their miserable Toronto childhood to one sibling's success in London as the owner of a chain of copy shops: a ho-hum Cinderella tale in which the bad guys may be repulsive, but the good guys are fatally dull. Read full book review >
RIGHTS by Lawrence Goldstone
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"An amusingly overplotted Bonfire of the Vanities knockoff, minus Wolfe's epic sense of despair or fun."
The untidy Rube Goldberg aftermath to the shooting of ghetto beauty Lawanda de Bourbon by rookie cop James Rodriguez, traced in satiric detail by first-novelist Goldstone. Read full book review >
MAD DOG by Jack Kelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1992

"Kelly occasionally succumbs to the temptations of poetry and elevated style, but for the most part he is bang-on in this poignant black-and-white sketch of inept crimes, modest criminals, and gray times."
While John Dillinger roams the Midwest robbing banks and breaking hearts, a minor flimflam man takes the Hoosier as his role model and finds professional success—in this melancholy criminal study by the author of Apalachin (1987) and Protection (1989). 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 >