Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1823)

THE WOMAN WHO WALKED INTO DOORS by Roddy Doyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"It's a bloody wonderful story."
A skillful mixture of buoyant farce and wrenching drama from the popular Irish author (The Commitments, 1987; Booker-winner Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
MY SISTER'S BONES by Cathi Hanauer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"A persuasive, well-rendered, and rich first novel about family systems."
From September to May, here are an eventful few months in the life of a plucky New Jersey girl, a doctor's younger daughter who is coming of age just as her beautiful older sister begins to succumb to anorexia. Read full book review >

THE TROUBLE WITH A BAD FIT by Camilla T. Crespi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"An appendix gives a brief history of the New York fashion industry and a lasagna recipe that'll make it harder to fit into any of those clothes. (Author tour)"
Looks like designer Roberta Riddle's comeback collection for Riddle Solutions has a bumpy road to travel before it reaches the spring/summer show in Bryant Park. Read full book review >
SHADOW RANCH by Jo-Ann Mapson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Less eccentric and arresting than Hank & Chloe, with a way of rambling for long stretches, though Mapson's empathy for the modern western psyche still elucidates and entertains. (Literary Guild alternate selection; $40,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Yet another sensitive family drama set in today's New West from the author of Hank & Chloe (1993) and Blue Rodeo (1994)—this one featuring a rich and feisty California octogenarian, his ex- stripper lover, and the troubled grandchildren who disapprove, disapprove, disapprove. Read full book review >
DREAMS OF EMPIRE by Jeanne Mackin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"A richly intelligent and charming spellbinder."
The author of The Frenchwoman (1989) and The Queen's War (1991) again imaginatively (but responsibly, judiciously) samples French history and here constructs a witty, lightly satirical, entertaining amalgam of murder, greed, and revenge, all peculiarly attached to a kind of treasure hunt for an ancient Egyptian stela— a slab of stone picturing the goddess Hathor (appropriately, the goddess of love and laughter). Read full book review >

ASSUMPTION OF RISK by Jim Silver
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"In between the juicy stuff, it's all wonky insurance babble and guntalk, with an undercurrent of right-wing politics that does nothing to push along the tale."
James M. Cain showed that an insurance thriller can be a stylish, unequivocal success. Read full book review >
BREAK-IN by Jose Yglesias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"In bringing this defiant old wreck to a recognition of what he has in common with a confused black kid, Yglesias has fashioned a novel that some may dismiss as simplistic; others, though, will discover that it both moves them and makes them think."
A hard-won lesson in race relations and an appealing character study are the distinguishing features of the absorbing and entertaining latest from the author, Tristan and the Hispanics (1989), etc. Seventy-two-year-old widower Rudy Pardo, a retired fire chief, lives just ``uptown'' from Tampa's Latino community, a comfortable distance from his annoyingly helpful older sisters Lucinda (and her pathetic, unemployable son ``Little Stevie'') and ``liberal'' Connie (and her ``communist'' husband). Read full book review >
RIBOFUNK by Paul Di Filippo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Clever, brash, hardworking, lightweight: There's much to admire here, even if the tales don't always engage the emotions."
Thirteen tales, 1989-95, including two previously unpublished, from the author of The Steampunk Trilogy (1995). Read full book review >
THE ATLAS by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"One weeps somewhat reflexively for the lost souls mirrored in these fragments; more heartfelt, unfortunately, is a horror at the squandering of such a prodigious prose talent. (Author tour)"
Making a bid for the bleakest book of the year, Vollmann (Butterfly Stories, 1993, etc.) fashions a world-wide web of despair in a palindrome of 53 stories, each having to do with sorrow or loss, and often involving the hopeless lives of whores from Cambodia to Canada. Read full book review >
THE LIFE STONE OF SINGING BIRD by Melody Henion Stevenson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"Incoherent and pretentious."
An obscure, overwrought, inauspicious first novel about the clashes and convergences of two extended families—pioneer and American Indian—on the Great Plains during the 19th century. Read full book review >
SMOKING HOPES by Victoria N. Alexander
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"No lack of come-on details here but also little narrative consistency as competing voices and plot twists make for an erratic multicultural mess."
Alexander, having been celebrated in the tabloids as the college instructor who danced topless to get material for this debut novel, shows more cheek than talent in a tale of a New York hostess who yearns both for the sea and her long-vanished husband but who finds a bad end in Tokyo instead. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"The anthology as museum, with Hillerman and Herbert as suave a pair of curators as you could wish."
Though Hillerman's introduction notes his impatience with "the rules" of the detective story's Golden Age, this magisterial selection of 34 stories is remarkably evenhanded, proceeding from Poe to Ross Macdonald and Rex Stout with scarcely a notable omission (except for Dashiell Hammett, for copyright reasons). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Marilu Henner
author of CHANGING NORMAL
April 26, 2016

After they’d been dating only a short while, and as they were falling in love, Marilu Henner and Michael Brown were hit with the ultimate bad news: Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing traditional care, they pieced together a personal and holistic view on battling his cancer, all while forging an unbreakable bond. In this moving and informative book, Marilu pulls back the curtain on how they dealt with the blow. She relates her holistic perspective on health—including the superfoods, exercises, and immunotherapy they used to fight back—and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life. “An inspiring love story wrapped in a serious call for new ways to treat disease,” our reviewer writes. View video >