Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2631)

TEXAS by James A. Michener
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 28, 1985

"Overall, Michener tames Texas, and if in doing so he flattens some of its flair, he presents its history as a comprehensive and readable whole."
This is a long story, the whole history of Texas, from its very beginnings, as far back as 1540 when the Spanish nobleman Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led an expedition from Mexico to search the northern wilds for gold. Read full book review >
THE NUCLEAR AGE by Tim O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 1985

"This book—elaborately cobbled-up but weightless, trivial—almost answers these questions perfectly."
It's been noticed by historians that when centuries turn they also encourage lots of end-of-the-world fantasies and falderal. Read full book review >

GALAPAGOS by Kurt Vonnegut
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 4, 1985

"But his dark is real enough."
Once again Vonnegut throws up his hands at the human race, condemning it for its overweening technology, war-making, greed and other perversities. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 1985 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1985

"Apart from the Banks, though, little is memorable here."
Though nothing dramatically robs you of breath in this year's selection, Godwin has welcomely restored an element missing from recent roundups: sex. Read full book review >
MR. PALOMAR by William Weaver
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 1985

"Luminous, knowing, lovely literature."
The most philosophical of Calvino's works, a set of semi-comic meditations upon infinity undertaken by a nobody/Everyman named Mr. Palomar—who, as his name suggests, would like to be the clearest, adroitest, purest non-participatory observer. . .yet, since he's a man, not a telescope, can't quite pull it off. Read full book review >

THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 11, 1985

"Tone-perfect, and probably her best to date."
How do "impossible" couples evolve? Read full book review >
ILLYWHACKER by Peter Carey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1985

"Overall, Carey proves himself an experimental writer par excellance, and the story is often delightful, but this remains a book only for the patient reader."
This new novel by the talented Australian writer (The Fat Man In History, 1980, and Bliss, 1981) clearly outlines the struggle for a national Australian identity. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 18, 1985

"A few goodies, then, but generally mediocre and disappointing."
Alert readers expect a certain amount of bombast from editors of "best of" anthologies; but, as Asimov remarks in his introduction (his emphasis): "I don't know any great scientists who are great science fiction writers." Read full book review >
THE DANGEROUS SUMMER by Ernest Hemingway
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 24, 1985

"With another byline, this would be readable if self-indulgent stuff; with Hemingway's, just further evidence of artistic and personal exhaustion."
'Contento Ernesto?' he asked. 'Muy contento.' 'So am I,' he said. 'You saw how he [the bull] was? Read full book review >
THE CIDER HOUSE RULES by John Irving
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 17, 1985

"Finally, this effort is sometimes moving or amusing, but also irritating and ultimately disappointing."
As in The World According to Garp, a young man is trying to find his way as he grows up amid institutional, individual, familial, and social craziness in upper New England. Read full book review >
LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1985

"It will appeal to all lovers of fiction of the first order."
This large, stately, and intensely powerful new novel by the author of Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show is constructed around a cattle drive—an epic journey from dry, hard-drinking south Texas, where a band of retired Texas Rangers has been living idly, to the last outpost and the last days of the old, unsettled West in rough Montana. Read full book review >
THE IMAGE AND OTHER STORIES by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1985

"Less comic, varied, and compelling than the best Singer collections, then, with only fleeting glimpses of the Writers' Club and the 'literary cafeteria'—but a generous, vigorous gathering nonetheless."
Unlike Old Love (1979), which offered a perfectly balanced mixture of Singer's Old World (passionate, mystical) and his autobiographical New World (comic, whimsical), this new story collection is weighted heavily—and a little monotonically—toward Old World tales of wayward lust, doomed triangles, and tortured sinners. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >