Category: Book Review

Review: Interpreter of Maladies

I’ve gone through a half dozen copies of this book. I keep giving away my copy in a shameless bid to convince the recipient to read the opening story. If they’d like to read further, fine, but I’m not going to stamp my feet…

Review: The Art of Fielding

Don’t take Chad Harbach’s debut novel too seriously. It’s a traditional coming-of-age story against a baseball backdrop. (Basic baseball knowledge is enough to see you through: three strikes and you’re out, each team gets three outs an inning, etc.) The story is told from…

Review: The Tiger’s Wife

The New York Times Bestseller List is not treating me well lately. While Téa Obreht’s debut novel is impressive for a young writer, it ultimately fails to create solid, interesting characters. The biggest stumbling block is that it lacks a definite plot; as a…

Review: The Orphan Master’s Son

Like everyone else, I read through the surge in articles after Kim Jong Il’s death to learn more about his cult of personality with morbid fascination. The North Korean propaganda machine perpetuates such myths as Kim Jong Il being a demi-god able to control the…

Review: Shanghai Girls

If you have read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, you’ve read a book enormously similar to her more recent Shanghai Girls. In Shanghai Girls, the girls are natural sisters instead of close friends; the horrifying foot-binding is swapped for a horrifying…