Search Results: "William T. Vollmann"


BOOK REVIEW

THE ROYAL FAMILY by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Not for the squeamish, certainly. Nonetheless, an intensely readable, often moving, and frequently shocking atlas of modern degradation and despair."
A sprawling urban epic of obsession, by one of our most ambitious (and idiosyncratic) contemporary writers. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

RIDING TOWARD EVERYWHERE by William T. Vollmann
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 22, 2008

"Sometimes entertaining, sometimes annoying: an essay that takes the reader on a trip around the author's psyche but otherwise seems to go nowhere."
An introspective, idiosyncratic tribute to train-hopping, replete with nods to Kerouac, Whitman, Hemingway, Twain, London and Thoreau. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE RIFLES by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Bleak icy vistas vie with evidence of human desolation at every turn in this restless, chilling saga—less monumental than its predecessors, perhaps, but every bit as challenging."
Volume Six of Vollmann's vast, timeless epic Seven Dreams, this third novel (after Fathers and Crows, 1992) in the series takes up as its primary theme the lost 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin to the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

IMPERIAL by William T. Vollmann
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 3, 2009

"Magnificent, impressive and utterly unique. A word to anyone seeking to follow Vollmann's path, however: Get your gamma globulin shots, and write shorter."
Vollmann (Riding Toward Everywhere, 2008, etc.) has yet to meet a subject he cannot convert into a tome to rival the Manhattan phone book. So it is with this long, strange trip through California's Imperial County. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

LAST STORIES AND OTHER STORIES by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2014

"Exquisite: beautifully, perfectly imagined and written. Weird, too. A little heavy for the beach, perhaps, but perfect reading for the Day of the Dead."
Vollmann (The Book of Dolores, 2013, etc.) turns his considerable intelligence and skill to a broad genre that doesn't get much respect—namely, the ghost story. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE ATLAS by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

"One weeps somewhat reflexively for the lost souls mirrored in these fragments; more heartfelt, unfortunately, is a horror at the squandering of such a prodigious prose talent. (Author tour)"
Making a bid for the bleakest book of the year, Vollmann (Butterfly Stories, 1993, etc.) fashions a world-wide web of despair in a palindrome of 53 stories, each having to do with sorrow or loss, and often involving the hopeless lives of whores from Cambodia to Canada. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE DYING GRASS by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"Telegraphic and episodic—so much so that it recalls the later work of Eduardo Galeano—Vollmann's saga is a note-perfect incantation. Stunning."
The indefatigable, seemingly inexhaustible Vollmann (Last Stories and Other Stories, 2014, etc.) returns with another impossibly long—and peerless—book, this one an epic study of the Nez Percé War of 1877.Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"There's no getting around it: this is essential reading. Vollmann's eccentric, impassioned historical dream visions are, despite frequent redundancies and occasional infelicities, slowly carving their niche among the present age's most commanding and illuminating fictions."
The story of Jamestown Colony and the personal histories of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, among others, take center stage—in this huge and fascinating fourth installment in the indefatigable Vollmann's ongoing serial novel Seven DreamsRead full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

FATHERS AND CROWS by William T. Vollmann
Released: Aug. 4, 1992

"An immensely rewarding saga."
Idiosyncratic, inspired, and convoluted as ever, Vollmann offers the second installment in his seven-part series (Seven Dreams), moving from the Vikings and Vinland of The Ice-Shirt (1990) to the French and their impact on native populations in and around Quebec in the first half of the 17th century. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 6, 2006

"Stick with it, though, and there's much to learn about a book little studied today—but one that inarguably changed the world."
Times may be tough for evolutionists, but consider: As recently as 400 years ago, folks were being burned at the stake for thinking that Earth revolved around Sol, and not the other way around. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THIRTEEN STORIES AND THIRTEEN EPITAPHS by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Energetic and witty if unfocused—but, still, this shows the prodigious talent that has been better realized in earlier work."
Boisterous as ever, Vollmann continues to revel in quixotic moments of human experience similar to those in his other tales (Fathers and Crows, etc.), yet this collection is far less successful in providing a solid basis from which his anarchic vision can flourish. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NON-FICTION
Released: July 1, 1992

"For all their purposeful irony, though, his short-take recollections add little to our understanding of a tragic chapter in world history."
Just why a respected and talented young novelist like Vollman (Fathers and Crows, reviewed above, etc.) would want to publish dated jottings on a 1982 sojourn around and, briefly, in war-torn Afghanistan is anyone's guess. Read full book review >