Predictable action sponsoring a political and social agenda.


North (Mission Compromised, 2002, etc.) forecasts a near future with a liberal government gone authoritarian, and it’s left to Anarks (Anti-American Religious Kooks) and other right-thinkers to defend Constitutional ideals.

Part thriller, part conspiracy novel, part political screed, this book follows the Newman family, led by father-son USMC heroes Peter and James, as it becomes embroiled in the 2032 election year's dirty politics subsequent to a September 11 terrorist attack on a scientific conference: Old-school Clancy in a brave new world. The Caliphate, an Islamic hagiography, controls everything from North Africa to Indonesia, although the ever-combative Iranians, picking at scabs of the Sunni-Shia split, are no peaceful disciples. The U.S. has ceded personal liberties to the U.N. Citizens have a PERT (Personal Electronic Radio Tag) embedded in their bodies, and everyone carries traceable PIDs (Personal Interface Device) connecting to MESH, the fourth-generation Internet. North’s Acronym World 2032 needs an 11-page glossary, but the action is securely rooted in standard thriller dynamic. The catalyst is the apparent engineering of a fuel cell by Martin Cohen, retired admiral and professor, kidnapped during the conference attack. Cohen was Peter Newman’s Naval Academy classmate. Rumors were the fuel cell would be available for free, something that doesn’t go down well with the Iranians. Led by the widow of the previous incumbent, the current corrupt U.S. administration doesn’t want the attack blamed on the Caliphate, since her reelection depends on Caliphate money and its no-terror cooperation. An administration conspiracy labels the Newmans as Anarks and blames James Newman for the attack. The Newmans have the resources of their all-powerful intelligence/paramilitary company, Centurion Solutions Group, and have Sen. Mackintosh Caperton, another Academy classmate, as an ally. As the jargon-loaded narrative unfolds, the Newmans retreat to their private island; Cohen washes ashore in Yucatan post-hurricane; and drug smugglers allied with the Mexican government, Iranians and CSG operatives led by James Newman converge on scene for the de rigueur shootout, escape and resolution.

Predictable action sponsoring a political and social agenda.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0631-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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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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