Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1818)

EROS AND PSYCHE by William Riviere
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1995

"Land, sea, and sky, shimmeringly evoked with a romantic's eye and a master's brush, give great delight here, while the characters interact less charmingly through a series of inner monologuesa psychologically penetrating technique, to be sure, but demanding and slow-going for the reader."
Freedom, love, and the complications brought about by conflict between the two are the subjects of earnest soul-searching on a sun-kissed Greek island: a lyrical tale (and first US appearance) by English-born, Italian-resident Riviäre. Read full book review >
BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 28, 1995

"The Prince of Tides goes to EuropeConroy promises untold horrors and ecstasies, but delivers refractory, predictable, and occasionally entertaining southern fluff. (First printing of 750,000; Literary Guild selection; author tour)"
The latest in Conroy's output of overwrought, overwritten family sagas (Prince of Tides, 1986, etc.): a sprawling, oversized beach read with the loftiest of intentions. Read full book review >

THE KEEPER OF THE FERRIS WHEEL by Jack McBride White
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 1995

"Still, an often touching, surprisingly funny debut—originally brought out in 1993 and nowthe grand-prize winner in the first Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards."
A strong, compassionate first novel that strips the Vietnam peace movement of some of its myths by concentrating on the way it affects individuals. Read full book review >
SPINSTERS by Pagan Kennedy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 1995

"In short: a deeply flawed, if admirable, first novel."
A slim novella that—like the author's story collection (Stripping, 1993)—chronicles the dramatic loss of innocence of its female lead: Here, the narrator and her sister take to the road, though not quite in the manner of Thelma and Louise. Read full book review >
BROTHER OF SLEEP by Robert Schneider
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 1995

"With unflagging passion and extraordinary inventiveness, Schneider has created a pathetic, brutal, symbolic, wonderful, historic, appalling—in a word, human—world. (A German film based on the novel will be released at Cannes in May)"
In a widely translated European hit, first-time Austrian novelist Schneider tells the tale, brilliantly, of a backward peasant village and the great musical genius who's born there to blush unseen. Read full book review >

ZIA SUMMER by Rudolfo Anaya
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 21, 1995

"It's an omission that makes sense: His characters are all too invincibly themselves to be harboring any very mysterious secrets. (Author tour)"
Small-time Albuquerque p.i. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 20, 1995

"The Satanic Verses of its day."
From Twain scholars Baetzhold (Butler Univ.) and McCullough (Elmira College Center): an omnibus of Twain's skeptical writings, mostly fiction, about the Bible, Darwin, and evolution, along with similar 19th-century nailbiters questioning American Christianity. Read full book review >
PAINTED LEAVES by John Fink
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 20, 1995

"Readable but rudderless."
A member of the tragedy-stricken family in Fink's debut novel, The Leaf Boats (1991), is a major character in this, the author's third. Read full book review >
THE SCOUT by Harry Combs
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 16, 1995

"Killing on a grand scale, with little of that bothersome guilt."
Part two of a trilogy that began with this 82-year-old author's Brules (1994): a breezy recounting of the slaughter and destruction of Native American tribes in the Old West. Read full book review >
BAD HOUSEKEEPING by Julie Edelson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1995

"Aptly titled, then: an ambitious, but stylistically cluttered, debut."
A thickly wrought second novel (No News Is Good, 1986) exploring a divorced, tragically hip, '60s-bred mother's attempts to cope with the challenges of raising '90s kids. Read full book review >
FIGURES IN THE SAND by Janice Elliott
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1995

"Octavius's epiphany is a shade sensational, but Elliott skillfully sustains an eerie cosmic unease in a setting where men and their maps are but figures in the sand."
By the author of several smoke-and-mirror novels of metaphysical speculation (City of Gates, 1993, etc.) in which Time, human history, and the mystic binges of saints and outsize sinners collide, mix, and swirl off in further mystery. Read full book review >
HAPPY DAYS, UNCLE SERGIO by Magali Garcia Ramis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1995

"One of those finely wrought but lifeless first novels that overflow with texture and period detail but shortchange their characters."
The first US appearance of a bestselling Puerto Rican debut novel, originally published in 1986, that tries hard for significance as it evokes close family ties. 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 >