We suspect Joyce himself would be pleased with this production, a boon for scholars and general readers alike. (Requires iOS...

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JOYCE'S ULYSSES

A GUIDE

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan and crew find themselves well-served in a new app that blends Joyce’s text with its Greek inspiration.

A classic of literary modernism, Ulysses is now over 100 years old. It benefits nicely from the new-tech treatment of the modern app, though the developers might have done even more with it; the annotations, for instance, are numerous but light and sometimes too glancing. Generally, though, they’re helpful, especially for readers without a suitably Joycean cultural background: In case the point is missed in the text itself, it doesn’t take much in the way of those annotations to see that Joyce is parodying the Catholic Mass in the opening paragraphs, and the editors even connect the “white corpuscles” of the first page to the holy proceedings. The app contains an abridged recording of the text, as well as period recordings of some of the music (“A Nation Once Again,” “In Old Madrid” and so forth) that Joyce’s characters enjoy during the course of that storied June day in 1904. A particularly welcome lagniappe is the text of Homer’s Odyssey, the ur-epic underlying Joyce’s own book. Getting around the Greek text, broken into its constituent books, is easy enough, but less so the English: The navigation leads to the headers of the three parts but not to the chapters within them, which, of course, are keyed to the Greek, while the bookmarking feature is sufficient but approximate in a text that is continuous and without pagination. Useful, again, to readers who haven’t explored the ground is a set of photographs providing visual annotations of such things as Martello towers and the exact appearance of 7 Eccles St. before it was bulldozed in the 1960s. One hopes that in future editions these extras might be better hyperlinked to the main text so that readers don’t have to skip around so much, though the serendipity involved leads to some pleasant discoveries among the phantasmal mirth and ghostly light of Joyce’s brilliant words. A search function would be nice, too.

We suspect Joyce himself would be pleased with this production, a boon for scholars and general readers alike. (Requires iOS 6 and above.)

Pub Date: June 1, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Naxos Digital Services, Ltd.

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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