DEATH IN JERUSALEM

Partly out of idle curiosity about Agritech Consultants, the new Israeli venture his slick pal Harry Brickman, of Morgenstern Ozick, is trying to raise money for, partly to avoid worrying about a rumored shake-up back in his own Wall St. office, commodities trader Donald McCarry agrees to accompany Harry to the Holy Land, ostensibly to look over the operation. Bad move. En route to Harry's villa in the Occupied Territories, their car is hijacked and Harry kidnapped. And the day after Donald—peacefully ensconced back in Jerusalem's King David Hotel while Harry's partners and wife burn up the transatlantic wires—meets Agritech president Dov Levy and his gorgeous assistant, Esther Sennesh, Israeli security people pull him off his return flight, a suspect in Dov's murder. Something's obviously rotten at Agritech. But if it's only Harry's fraudulent scheme to trick the Israeli government into providing a safety net for Agritech's speculators, then why are Esther and Harry (miraculously escaped from his captors) gunned down in a professional-looking street attack? And why does a quick check of Morgenstern Ozick's books back in New York reveal a shortfall the size of the Israeli national debt? Boland (Rich Man's Blood, 1993) deftly balances political terrorists and guys who just have their hands in your pockets in a tale that roars along like a BMW in heat.

Pub Date: July 22, 1994

ISBN: 0-312-10965-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1994

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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LIFE OF PI

A fable about the consolatory and strengthening powers of religion flounders about somewhere inside this unconventional coming-of-age tale, which was shortlisted for Canada’s Governor General’s Award. The story is told in retrospect by Piscine Molitor Patel (named for a swimming pool, thereafter fortuitously nicknamed “Pi”), years after he was shipwrecked when his parents, who owned a zoo in India, were attempting to emigrate, with their menagerie, to Canada. During 227 days at sea spent in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger (mostly with the latter, which had efficiently slaughtered its fellow beasts), Pi found serenity and courage in his faith: a frequently reiterated amalgam of Muslim, Hindu, and Christian beliefs. The story of his later life, education, and mission rounds out, but does not improve upon, the alternately suspenseful and whimsical account of Pi’s ordeal at sea—which offers the best reason for reading this otherwise preachy and somewhat redundant story of his Life.

Pub Date: June 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-100811-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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