VINTAGE REVIEWS

THE BAD BEGINNING by Lemony Snicket
Released: Sept. 30, 1999

The Baudelaire children—Violet, 14, Klaus, 12, and baby Sunny—are exceedingly ill-fated; Snicket extracts both humor and horror from their situation, as he gleefully puts them through one terrible ordeal after another. Read full book review >

THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD by John le Carré
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 10, 1963

"It is all expertly chilling and exciting."
A modern variant of The Third Man is sponsored by that book's author (Graham Greene says, "The best spy story I have ever read") and it introduces on this side of the water pseudonymous Mr. Le Carré, who is a fine contrast to flamboyant Mr. Fleming and who proves here that one can be just as unnerving by being thoroughly undemonstrative. Read full book review >

FORCE MAJEURE by Bruce Wagner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

Smashing debut novel in which screenwriter Bud Wiggin, a Thomas Wolfe for failed screenwriters, seems to be a stand-in for author Wagner—screenwriter of the stupid but successful Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills and Nightmare on Elm Street 3. Read full book review >

PAPAL SIN by Garry Wills
RELIGION
Released: June 6, 2000

Popes used to sin openly, and Catholics knew it, writes Pulitzer Prize-winner Wills (John Wayne's America, 1997, etc.) in his new study of contemporary Catholicism. Read full book review >

LINCOLN by David Herbert Donald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

In a significant contribution to Lincoln scholarship, distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prizewinning biographer Donald (Harvard; Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe, 1987, etc.) draws a richly detailed, absorbing portrait of our 16th president. The Lincoln that Donald gives us is an inexperienced, ill- prepared, and essentially passive man who nonetheless quickly grew into greatness as president during the nation's worst crisis. Read full book review >


SKIN TIGHT by Carl Hiaasen
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 11, 1989

"Great entertainment, Hiaasen's best."
Black-humored crime-novelist Hiaasen (Tourist Season, 1986; Double Whammy, 1987) tops himself here, exploding sardonic marvels on nearly every page—in an exceptionally inventive tale of a retired Florida cop and his run-ins with the weirdest villains this side of Batman. Read full book review >
MILDRED PIERCE by James M. Cain
Released: Sept. 22, 1941

"Sure sales and rentals."
The author of The Postman Always Rings Twice and Serenade turns from the shock technique of both of these to present an incisive, full length portrait of a woman in business, and her emotional dependency on her coldblooded, greedy, captious daughter — Veda. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 21, 1979

"A bountifully compassionate and moving book, some portions of which have appeared in The New Yorker."
In these ten interlinked, chronological stories about Ontario girl Rose, Munro—like Joyce Carol Oates in her early novels—penetrates, with bowsprit knowledge and (unlike Oates) irrepressible tenderness, the iced-in continent of the working-class poor and the erratic course of those who get away. Read full book review >
WOODSONG by Gary Paulsen
Released: Aug. 1, 1990

"This may be Paulsen's best book yet: it should delight and enthrall almost any reader."
A three-time Newbery Honor winner tells—in a memoir that is even more immediate and compelling than his novels—about his intimate relationship with Minnesota's north woods and the dog team he trained for Alaska's Iditarod. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 1982

"One is appalled by Johnson—and awed."
Depth of research and depth of feeling make the difference. Read full book review >
KNOTS AND CROSSES by Ian Rankin
Released: Sept. 1, 1987

"Solidly drawn characters, keen psychological insights and an intriguing, well-knit plot—along with a rather florid but individual writing style—make Rankin a newcomer to watch."
A compelling first novel sent in Edinburgh, where a series of killings of young girls has the city in a panic. Read full book review >
EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 1952

"But John Steinbeck, the philosopher, dominates his material and brings it into sharply moral focus."
Tremendous in scope- tremendous in depth of penetration- and as different a Steinbeck as the Steinbeck of Burning Bright was from the Steinbeck of Grates of th. Read full book review >