Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1818)

GRACELAND by Laura Kalpakian
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"As silly and superficial as the class analysis it advances, Kalpakian's sluggish narrative rocks as hard as the King on Quaaludes."
There's something forced about Kalpakian's adequately written sixth book (Dark Continent, 1989, etc.)—a melodramatic novel that celebrates Elvis Presley as a cultural and spiritual icon. Read full book review >
FLYING IN PLACE by Susan Palwick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Kathryn Davis or Kaye Gibbons- -but it certainly stirs sympathy for the paths of survival such victims must take."
An imaginative first novel about incest from a young doctoral candidate at Yale. Read full book review >

THE DELTA by Marshall Harrison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Brooks's love affair with Lee is predictable, but he himself is likably troubled, and the air scenes are nothing short of stunning."
The tale of a forward air controller, or FAC, in the early days of the Vietnam War—from the author of the novel Cadillac Flight and A Lonely Kind of War. Read full book review >
SHADOW IN A WEARY LAND by Harry Jones
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"One-dimensional people in an oddly parochial story—parochial because Jones is as much exercised by the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of today's Foreign Service as by the greater agony of the Middle East."
Two American Foreign Service officers are recalled from private life only to be taken hostage in the Middle East—in this would-be suspenser (and first novel). Read full book review >
TURTLE MOON by Alice Hoffman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Pure Hoffman: her take on the tropics is haunting, hypnotic, and hot as a fever dream. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for June)"
A mix of murder and magic in the Florida sunshine as only Hoffman (Seventh Heaven, 1990, etc.) could conjure it. Read full book review >

KISS THE HIBISCUS GOODNIGHT by Carleton Bates Varney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Shiny bright, often entertaining—and ephemeral."
Mini dolce vita on a fictional Caribbean isle but, with all the pretty exotica and glittery people, more decorative than vital. ``The hibiscus live only for one day. Read full book review >
THE BLINDFOLD by Siri Hustvedt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Hustvedt brings her dark urban landscape to life with her camera eye and Iris's tenacious, Midwestern common sense—the perfect balance to all the existential weirdness."
Poet Hustvedt's first novel is unabashedly cerebral, a disturbing and disarming fiction that explores the mysteries of identity. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >