by Lynn Hoffman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 1, 2007
Thoroughly charming and sure to enrage the NRA, which is, of course, the point.
A sweet Philadelphia waitress takes on the pro-gun set.
Plump Paula Sherman, who waits tables in a modestly swell Center City restaurant when she should be singing professionally, accidentally drifts into the sights of the United Gun Association (UGA), America’s most powerful gun lobby, after her best friend dies in a street shooting. Understandably distraught, Paula blamed the killer rather than the handgun, just what the UGA wanted to hear. To her horror, Paula sees herself quoted out of context by not only Pennsylvania’s pro-gun senator but by the UGA. Her efforts to disclaim the remark and to remove her image from campaign ads and pro-gun advertising are fruitless. But the pro-gun coalition has underestimated the singing waitress. Determined to avenge the death of her friend and to put the lying bastards in their place, Paula finds a way to turn the guns on the gun-lovers, who, she observes, proudly identify themselves by placing UGA stickers on their automobiles. Wouldn’t those stickers make great targets for someone armed with—well, a pistol? Couldn’t Paula be that vigilante? She could indeed, but to be safe on the streets, she needs to whip herself into shape with a program of running, an activity that not only makes it possible to cover a great many streets looking for UGA stickers to shoot with the wee air gun she has bought, but also results in a new svelte figure. Even before her shooting of gun-lovers’ windshields is noticed by the city, it is noted by a neighboring journalist who keeps her secret until he is enlisted in the battle. And the battle catches fire. As Paula first runs and then rollerblades her way through Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, picking off the conspicuous UGA stickers, copy-cats in other cities, outraged by abuse of the Second Amendment, send the same message.Thoroughly charming and sure to enrage the NRA, which is, of course, the point.
Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2007
Page Count: 176
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2006
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
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
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by Harper Lee ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 11, 1960
A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.
Pub Date: July 11, 1960
Page Count: 323
Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960
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