Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2690)

PARADISE by Judith McNaught
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 8, 1991

"If not absolute paradise for McNaught fans, at least a sunny easement to the beach—where this will be an inevitable summer companion. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for August.)"
A hard-cover debut from McNaught (sudsers like Almost Heaven and Kingdom of Dreams) links—in a contentious, sizzling-sheets romance—a Chicago department-store heiress/exec and a self-made corporate king. Read full book review >
MY ROMANCE by Gordon Lish
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 8, 1991

"Either way, it's an exploitative and cynical little exercise."
Knopf editor Lish's fifth book combines the repetitive minimalism of Samuel Beckett with the obsessive confessionalism of Harold Brodkey—it's a slim novel that deliberately obscures its relation to the author's biography. Read full book review >

A GENERATION OF LEAVES by Robert S. Bloom
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 4, 1991

"Ponderous and leaden, convoluted, an epic but in tedium res."
The weight of American history in the decades surrounding the War of 1812 crushes Bloom's first novel, an ambitious but tedious saga of unrequited love and family affairs. Read full book review >
THE BLUE MOUNTAIN by Meir Shalev
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 3, 1991

"A portrait, with footnotes, interesting and well-written—nothing more."
Reminiscent of a painting by Chagall, this portrait of a pioneer village in Israel is strong on atmosphere, color, myth, and symbols but weak on narrative drive. Read full book review >
OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"A satisfying treat, with extra scoops of excitement and romance that make up for certain lapses in credibility."
Once-in-a-lifetime romantic passion and graphically depicted torture sessions are only the two extremes of this lively time- travel romance set in 18th-century Scotland—an imaginative and lighthearted debut by a promising newcomer. Read full book review >

THE DARK SISTER by Rebecca Goldstein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"Disappointing."
One of those almost too-clever and erudite novels about identity and the nature of women that challenge the head, but neglect the heart, by novelist and philosophy teacher Goldstein (The Mind-Body Problem, The Late Summer Passions of a Woman of Mind). Read full book review >
THE MATTER IS LIFE by J. California Cooper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"Though Cooper occasionally leans too heavily on exclamation marks to indicate exuberance, mainly she brings home simple truths in tones that vary from wildly humorous to poignant."
Cooper's fourth collection (Some Soul to Keep, 1987, etc.): gritty, modern-day folk tales told in a richly lyrical colloquial style, mostly by and about women who are abused or devastated by men and by their environment but who sometimes prevail. Read full book review >
PATCHWORK by Karen Osborn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"But her story is essentially undramatic, which is what keeps it from achieving the cathartic resonance of the tonally similar novels of Alice Walker."
A carefully crafted first novel by poet Osborn that touches in on the lives of three sisters raised in a dusty South Carolina milltown. Read full book review >
THE DARK SIDE OF HOPKINSVILLE by Ted Poston
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"Anecdotes and reminiscences are strung together to create an evocative miscellany—with Hauke's extensive notes linking together real-life counterparts with Poston's semi-fictional creations."
Poston, a well-known black journalist who died in 1974, has been well served by editor Hauke, who came upon these ten sketches of black children growing up in a southern town at the turn of the century, then edited and annotated them for publication and wrote a useful introduction. Read full book review >
TYPICAL by Padgett Powell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"Lyrically intense and full of the surreal juxtapositions you find in the flotsam of floodwaters: stories at once edgy and exuberant."
This first collection by the author of Edisto and A Woman Named Drown is an odd and arresting mix of full-length stories and lots of little pieces—none of them conventional by any means, and all of them typical of Powell's goofy, southern-inflected lust for language. Read full book review >
THE TERRORS OF ICE AND DARKNESS by Christoph Ransmayr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"In the end, a chilly academic exercise."
Ransmayr's first novel, originally published in 1984 in Germany, is released now in the US after his second novel and American debut, The Last World (1990). Read full book review >
OUT OF TIME by Helen Schulman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"A disappointing second effort."
A story collection, lamely masquerading as a novel, that revolves around (and around) the death of Kenneth Gordon Gold, aged 20, who drove his car down an empty road straight into a tree. 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 >