GUMP & CO.

An infrequently funny sequel to 1986's wildly successful (via movie) Forrest Gump. This time out, the idiot-savant/moral paragon bumbles through the history of the 1980s. Most of this contemporary Candide's pals are also back from the previous novel: The love of Gump's life, Jenny, has passed into a benevolent ghostdom; legless Lieutenant Dan has fallen on hard times; and the father of Vietnam buddy Bubba has seen Gump's shrimping operation crumble. New to the cast is Forrest's genius son, little Forrest, a sometimes sullen adolescent who drifts into the narrative from time to time to hatch brilliant moneymaking schemes. Gump briefly returns to football, saving the New Orleans Saints from a dead-end season, devises the formula for New Coke, then winds up on a hog farm in West Virginia, where little Forrest shows up with a plan for using pig feces to generate electric power. Gump screws this up, however, and is chased by an angry mob that he eludes by hopping a train, where he again meets up with Lieutenant Dan. The reunited pair take up a homeless life in Washington, until Oliver North recruits Gump to join the Iran-contra fiasco. After Gump takes the fall for North, a dissolute Wall Streeter (Ivan Boesky-like) appears and makes Gump the patsy in an insider-trading scam. From there, it's off to Berlin, where Gump starts the riot that brings down the Wall before he ends up in the middle of the Gulf War, capturing Saddam Hussein. Then it's back to Louisiana, where he and little Forrest revolutionize the oyster business. Finally, Gump crosses paths with Bill Clinton, busy peddling Arkansas real estate. Stupid is as stupid does. Guess which Oscar-winning actor Gump runs into at Elaine's? (Film rights to Paramount; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-671-52170-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1995

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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

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A LITTLE LIFE

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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