Publishers write the breathless, rhapsodic text you’ll find on the inside flap of a book cover. It’s their job to make a book’s description as moving as possible so you’ll buy the book. We always skip that stuff and head right to the opening pages. That’s where we get our highs. We want a writer to move us, bewitch us or make us think about something or someone we hadn’t thought about before. We expect to be enchanted. The books on this week’s list had us hooked from page one. After all, book critics want to feel transported just like readers who aren’t paid to read want to feel transported.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP
"But this hint of staleness will be all but totally disguised to first-time readers: Irving's style and zest remain superb, and his fondness for children—his anxiety over them and their welfare—is as rare and fine and affecting and pure as Heller's or Cheever's."
Book-club spotlighting is bound to introduce Irving's particular brio to its largest audience yet; his newest book is characteristically broad and eager, Heir to a shoe-manufacturing fortune and a Wellesley dropout, Jenny Fields becomes a nurse, which isn't quite the thing for a girl of her station. Read full book review >