Next book

PRECIPICE

An unusual, enjoyable novel for readers interested in religious history and speculative fiction.

In Joseph’s debut sci-fi novel, there’s intelligent life beyond humanity—and it wants to play a direct role in human progress.

This rollicking book weaves together the stories of a handful of characters whose seemingly normal lives become marked by unexpected, bizarre and apocalyptic events. Kimberly Martin, a young Georgia woman, is plagued by visitations from extraterrestrials who want to use her body for mysterious purposes. She becomes pregnant during a late-night bar encounter, short-circuiting the aliens’ interest. Meanwhile, her brother, Benny, a New York preacher, convenes with a supernatural, otherworldly spirit, and offers up his sister to be a surrogate mother for a new, hybrid species. An insectoid presence known as the Lady visits Sarah Matheson, a student at Calvary Bible College in Texas, and informs her that she will bear a divine son. Chris Altenbrook, a talented football player with a penchant for Biblical prophecy, leaves behind an athletic career and girlfriend to join the priesthood. Later, Sarah’s son, Zack, learns of his place in a vast plan to bring about a new world order. Benny increasingly becomes involved with a mysterious cadre of Vatican reformers, who recruit him to their endeavor; still later, Kimberly’s children, Gabe and Michael, find themselves in danger while studying in West Germany. Beginning in 1969 and progressing in decade-long intervals, this first novel in Joseph’s This Generation series is a suavely futuristic story about a major shift in the paradigms of Western civilization and religion. It effectively combines humanistic sympathy and ambitious speculation about the cosmos’ trajectory. The narrative is steeped in the author’s knowledge of the prophetic traditions of Abrahamic, Eastern and esoteric religions, and engagingly mixes science fiction with psychological drama.

An unusual, enjoyable novel for readers interested in religious history and speculative fiction.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-4808-0785-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2014

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 41


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

A LITTLE LIFE

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 41


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:
Next book

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