Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2)

THE HARDER THEY COME by T.C. Boyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 30, 2015

"Boyle's vision and ambition remain compelling, though his characters here seem like plot devices."
Violence corrodes the ideal of freedom in an ambitious novel that aims to illuminate the dark underbelly of the American dream. Read full book review >
THE HOMEPORT JOURNALS by A. C. Burch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 27, 2015

"An often vivid portrait of Provincetown life and May-December friendships, despite a bland main character."
An elderly woman and her troupe of gay live-ins take in a young man running from a bad romance in Burch's debut novel. Read full book review >

THE CAVENDON WOMEN by Barbara Taylor Bradford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A novel that could have used more melodrama or even drama."
Second installment of Bradford's answer to Downton Abbey.Read full book review >
HAUSFRAU by Jill Alexander Essbaum
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A smart book that entertains page by page but doesn't add up to anything larger."
Between caring for three children, visiting a Jungian analyst and taking a German class, Anna wouldn't seem to have much time for extramarital liaisons, but like her namesake, Madame Karenina, she manages. Read full book review >
NARCISA by Jonathan Shaw
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A mix-and-match novel with the grunge of Bukowski, the teeth-grinding momentum of the Beats and the acidic self-loathing of addiction novels."
The ugly saga of the relationship between a self-professed outlaw and a psychotic crack whore. Read full book review >

SIGNATURE KILL by David Levien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"The combination of peerlessly depressive Behr and the formulaic serial-killer plot produces a thriller at once mordant, grueling and routine."
When a sex killer terrorizes Indianapolis, ex-cop Frank Behr (Thirteen Million Dollar Pop, 2011, etc.) swings into action, with darkly mixed results.Read full book review >
THE WISDOM OF PERVERSITY by Rafael Yglesias
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Most important, he shines a Kleig light where it may be most needed, into the parlors and playrooms where many Americans endure or perpetrate these nightmares."
Three New York friends, in their childhood and adult selves, deal with a wily pedophile in an affecting novel that is big-screen lurid without being superficial or too slick. Read full book review >
JD by Mark Merlis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"While the novel should be applauded for its ambitious goals, it falls short of actually achieving most of them."
Merlis' new novel deals with the tenacity of the past and one woman's struggle to reconcile her dead husband's account of their life, their marriage and the death of their son with her own memories. Read full book review >
NAKED EARTH by Eileen Chang
by Eileen Chang, introduction by Yiyun Li
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Chang's novel can be less than subtle at times, but its description of small compromises and grand despair are both affecting and compelling."
Love is tested against revolutionary intrigue during China's Cultural Revolution. Read full book review >
INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD by David Morrell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A propulsive, richly imagined yarn that never loses steam or insults the reader's intelligence."
God save the queen—or failing that, send in the opium sot. Read full book review >
A REUNION OF GHOSTS by Judith Claire Mitchell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"For the Alters, life has been a seemingly endless series of tragedies; for us, the tragedy is that this stunning novel inevitably comes to an end."
Three middle-aged sisters collaborating on a memoir that's meant to double as their collective suicide note may not sound like a hilarious premise for a novel, but Mitchell's masterful family saga is as funny as it is aching. Read full book review >
THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT MOON by Fatima Bhutto
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Bhutto (Songs of Blood and Sword, 2011, etc.) has crafted a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people's war games and desperately trying to survive."
Set in the small Pakistani border town of Mir Ali, this novel rotates among the points of view of three brothers, telling stories of past and present violence and building to a fever pitch of terror. 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 >