Search Results: "David Means"


BOOK REVIEW

THE SECRET GOLDFISH by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 7, 2004

"Black/bleak comedies of moral and spiritual breakdown."
Fifteen stories in a third collection by the prizewinning Means (Assorted Fire Events, 2000, etc.): tales set mostly in harsh northern areas of the Midwest among people the rest of us would rather avoid. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

HYSTOPIA by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 19, 2016

"Means' first novel is a compelling portrait of an imagined counterhistory that feels entirely real."
In an alternative universe, John F. Kennedy was not killed in Dealey Plaza, but America is riven by Vietnam nonetheless. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE SPOT by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2010

"Though the author teaches at Vassar, these stories have a lot more punch and life than academic, creative-writing exercises."
A virtuosic short-story collection by the prize-winning author. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

A QUICK KISS OF REDEMPTION by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 21, 1991

"Means's stories all have their moments and, in most cases, an ease of voice—but without a strong sense of place or exceptional dialogue, they fail to leave a lasting impression."
Means shows a talent for strong visual images in this first collection, but, unfortunately, few of the stories themselves have an equally strong impact. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ASSORTED FIRE EVENTS by David Means
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A few of the longer, more conventional tales flesh out character and eschew the simply bizarre to explore the landscape of the God-worried, the guilt-ridden, the death-haunted. But Means's artsy gestures undercut his better intentions."
A second collection by the author of A Quick Kiss of Redemption (1991) continues the search for redemption in short fictions (some from Harper's, most from little mags) that borrow their lyric style from the groggiest sort of contemporary long-line poetry. Dabbling in self-consciousness, Means plays with punctuation and ellipses; he often goes streamy when the narrative most demands clarity. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

"A reader could suffocate in the overwrought melodramas, backwoods vernacular and western clichés that prop up this book."
A homesteader in post-Civil War Minnesota fights the elements, the natives and his own worst instincts on his passage to a new home. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2011

"A somewhat improbable study that Means infuses with all the sympathy and interest he holds for his subject."
A lively biography of an elusive character who manages to sustain reader interest and teach us something about the early-19th-century American pull toward the West. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

"Vividly recounts the price of inflexibility and political failure in times of crisis."
A portrait of Abraham Lincoln's vice president and successor over six crucial weeks that preserved a nation but brought an administration to ruin. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

COLIN POWELL by Howard Means
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 2, 1992

"The nation's first soldier deserves and eventually will get a better Boswell. (The labored text has photographs—not seen.)"
A barely serviceable briefing on the incumbent chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

MAD SEASON by Nancy Means Wright
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 19, 1996

"Regional fans should keep an eye out for this one."
Open season is more like it, since the casualties are only beginning when a bunch of masked thugs knock on old Lucien Larocque's door only to beat him to unconsciousness and his part- Indian wife Belle to death. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

POISON APPLES by Nancy Means Wright
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 2000

"The affectionately detailed farm lore is a plus for those interested."
A third outing for Wright is set, like the others, in the farm land around Branbury, Vermont (Harvest of Bones, 1998, etc.), where Moira and Stan Earthrowl struggle to make a living from the apple orchard that's overseen by Rufus Barrow, whose grandfather once owned it. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

HARVEST OF BONES by Nancy Means Wright
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 19, 1998

"The author's vividly offbeat characters and her warm accounts of life on the farm are more convincing than the elaborate plot, but, overall, this is a solid follow-up to Wright's promising first outing (Mad Season, 1996)."
A journey to the farmland near Branbury, Vermont, where Fay Hubbard, in the aftermath of a painful divorce, has rented a house from distant cousin Homer Flint, planning to start a bed- and-breakfast and a new life. Read full book review >