Next book

AN OCEAN OF MINUTES

A beautiful debut exploring how time, love, and sacrifice are never what they seem to be.

Traveling to the future is their only chance to stay together—as long as time doesn’t tear them apart.

“People wishing to time travel go to Houston Intercontinental Airport,” begins Lim’s shimmering debut novel. The year is 1981, time travel is possible, and a flu pandemic has ravaged the globe. Frank and Polly, a young couple from Buffalo, are navigating the world together until Frank gets sick. In an effort to save him, Polly enters into a contract with TimeRaiser, a company that sends healthy people to the future to work in exchange for medical treatment for their infected loved ones. The couple promises to meet in Texas the year Polly is set to arrive, but something unexpected derails their plans. It’s only when Polly reaches her destination—sprawling, crumbling, unknowable—that she realizes the devastating decision she’s made (“it was irreversible, and only comprehensible after it was done”). Told from Polly’s point of view, the novel oscillates between the present and future—a jarring juxtaposition that’s equally touching and heartbreaking. While Polly’s future is unrecognizable, there are a few depressing tenants that remain: all-consuming capitalism, sexual violence, and extreme wealth inequality are a few. The novel’s unsettling tone ensures the reader remains as confused as Polly. Where the United States of America had been, there is now the United States and America. A land divided by borders, wealth, and something far more precious: normalcy. Lim’s writing shines brightest when she’s ruminating on time, memory, and love: “No matter what happens, the past has a permanence. The past is safe,” and “Eventually this white noise of optimism would completely fuzz over her memories of their minutiae: their laughter, musk, tics, gripes, singing, skin.”

A beautiful debut exploring how time, love, and sacrifice are never what they seem to be.

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-9255-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 186


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 186


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Next book

THE SECRET HISTORY

The Brat Pack meets The Bacchae in this precious, way-too-long, and utterly unsuspenseful town-and-gown murder tale. A bunch of ever-so-mandarin college kids in a small Vermont school are the eager epigones of an aloof classics professor, and in their exclusivity and snobbishness and eagerness to please their teacher, they are moved to try to enact Dionysian frenzies in the woods. During the only one that actually comes off, a local farmer happens upon them—and they kill him. But the death isn't ruled a murder—and might never have been if one of the gang—a cadging sybarite named Bunny Corcoran—hadn't shown signs of cracking under the secret's weight. And so he too is dispatched. The narrator, a blank-slate Californian named Richard Pepen chronicles the coverup. But if you're thinking remorse-drama, conscience masque, or even semi-trashy who'll-break-first? page-turner, forget it: This is a straight gee-whiz, first-to-have-ever-noticed college novel—"Hampden College, as a body, was always strangely prone to hysteria. Whether from isolation, malice, or simple boredom, people there were far more credulous and excitable than educated people are generally thought to be, and this hermetic, overheated atmosphere made it a thriving black petri dish of melodrama and distortion." First-novelist Tartt goes muzzy when she has to describe human confrontations (the murder, or sex, or even the ping-ponging of fear), and is much more comfortable in transcribing aimless dorm-room paranoia or the TV shows that the malefactors anesthetize themselves with as fate ticks down. By telegraphing the murders, Tartt wants us to be continually horrified at these kids—while inviting us to semi-enjoy their manneristic fetishes and refined tastes. This ersatz-Fitzgerald mix of moralizing and mirror-looking (Jay McInerney shook and poured the shaker first) is very 80's—and in Tartt's strenuous version already seems dated, formulaic. Les Nerds du Mal—and about as deep (if not nearly as involving) as a TV movie.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 1992

ISBN: 1400031702

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1992

Categories:
Close Quickview