The author of the Arthur C. Clarke Award winner for 1994, Vurt, and its sequel, Pollen (published earlier this year), transports Lewis Carroll's Alice into 1998 and an altogether postmodern, alternative Manchester. Just minutes before her daily writing lesson with her stern Aunt Ermintrude, Alice chases her parrot, Whippoorwill, into a grandfather clock and falls down into a colony of talking termites. The termites scurry about doing computations for a Mad Hatterlike character, Captain Ramshackle. Ramshackle treats Alice to a discourse on the completely random nature of the universe and, eventually, suggests how she might make her way home: Find 12 missing puzzle pieces and solve the ``Jigsaw Murders'' that are terrorizing Manchester. Turns out there's a nefarious plot being perpetrated by the Civil Serpents (Noon is full of puns and ridiculous poetry), who keep trying to lay down order; in fact, the Supreme Snake (a.k.a. Satan) has meddled with the DNA of the populace in an effort to banish randomness forever. As a result, everyone except Alice is afflicted with Newmonia: that is, they are part animal. All of this is explained by the amusing crow-woman, Professor Chrowdingler, at the Uniworseity of Manchester, who points Alice toward the last puzzle piece, guarded by the Supreme Snake. After a mock-epic battle, Alice dives into her jigsaw holding the last piece, and hears her aunt calling: She's been gone about two minutes. Noon never does much with mathematics, as his opening scenes suggest he will, and the Automated Alice character, an alter ego of Alice that develops from her doll, is disappointing. Still, Noon's authorial intrusions are fun: A broad swipe at the vulgar ``Chimera'' sensation, Quentin Tarantula; a discussion with the author about his previous two books, which have been treated unkindly by the ``crickets''; and an appearance from Lewis Carroll himself. Charming.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-517-70490-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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