Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

THE GHOSTS OF WATT O'HUGH

Fast-paced, energetic and fun; a dime novel for modern intellectuals.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Watt O’Hugh tangles with love, danger and high adventure in Drachman’s engaging tale of Western science fiction and amazing fantasy.

On the surface, Watt O’Hugh’s beginnings mirrored many who dwell in a time of poverty and strife. Born in 1842, the young man’s existence could have been chalked up to a textbook stereotype, like a New York City Oliver Twist. Were it not for his special abilities, his could easily have been a story that would fit nicely into a work of prose dashed off by Nathaniel Hawthorne or Ralph Waldo Emerson. O’Hugh’s life veers from normalcy, however, when he learns the ways of magic and embarks on a journey throughout Earth’s history. In a pompous literary world ripe with mundane characters, Drachman pens a standout lead in the character of Watt O’Hugh. The cool hero’s tale is told in charming, romping detail, from the magical adventurer’s poor childhood in the Five Points and the Tomb, to his notorious, gun-toting dalliances in the Wild West and his wilder exploits through time itself. Were it not for a few lurid scenes of romance and a humble allotment of expletives, the book’s first-person narrative would surely win over a younger audience as well. O’Hugh’s singular name, derived from the words “what” and “who,” adds to the character’s simple charm. Time travel proves to be an enduring ingredient for fiction authors; from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and Stephen King’s The Langoliers, the uses for jumping in and out of the present never fails to develop a story to a slam-bang conclusion. Adding legitimate historical figures, such as the esteemed author Oscar Wilde, to the fictional mix builds levels of believability to the time traveling romp’s fast-paced flavor. While occasionally too expeditious in the telling, this introductory tale of a planned trilogy often has the fleeting pace found in many of the historic Western pulps authored in the 1800s.

Fast-paced, energetic and fun; a dime novel for modern intellectuals.

Pub Date: June 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-0578085906

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Chickadee Prince Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2011

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

A LITTLE LIFE

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • 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

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Categories:

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

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

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

Categories:
Close Quickview