Tag: fiction

Review: Washington Black

Washington Black was short-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. From its nomination to the glowing praise around the Internet, most people liked this book more than I did. Though the first half of the book is well-written, the plot’s over-reliance on coincidence strains…

Review: Cherry

I read Nico Walker’s Cherry in my quest to read a greater range of voices. I heard about it via Ron Charles’ review in the Washington Post (found here). Though Cherry‘s title page classifies the book as fiction, the life of its unnamed narrator closely follows the trajectory…

Happy 2019!

Happy New Year!
2019 is going to be the Year of Regular Reviews (for real this time)!

Review: While I Was Gone

20 Books of Summer 2018: Book 6 This is the first book I’ve read by Sue Miller and I was impressed by her writing style and vibrant voice. Even the slower passages and asides are engaging. That said, there’s slow bit in the middle…

Review: The Drowned World

20 Books of Summer: Book 5 J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise and Concrete Island are both creepily brilliant, but The Drowned World doesn’t meet their high bar. The writing is spectacular, but the characters are too flat for my taste. They’re buried under so much allegory that they lack…

Review: Those Who Walk Away

20 Books of Summer 2018: Book 4 After I read The Talented Mr. Ripley, I went to my favorite used bookshop in search of more books by Patricia Highsmith. They had two: The Two Faces of January and Those Who Walk Away. It was hard to…

Review: The Eternal Wonder

Reasons Not To Read This Book: 1) published under questionable circumstances, and 2) it’s not very good.

Review: Fingersmith

20 Books of Summer 2018: Book 2 Finally—I can say good things about a book by Sarah Waters! She’s the best writer whose books I don’t love (see The Paying Guests, see also: The Little Stranger). In Fingersmith, Sue Trinder is brought to the estate…

Review: Pachinko

20 Books of Summer 2018: Book 1

Pachinko doesn’t live up to its reputation as a sweeping epic due to pacing problems, but it’s still insightful and moving.

Review: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Chevalier’s classic is technically “good,” but it’s flat. Griet’s character might be better explored by Vermeer’s famous painting than by this book.

Sunday Short: “The Hotel” by Anne Enright

Previously On: “The Dinosaurs on Other Planets” by Danielle McLaughlin The New Yorker problem, part 2. If “The Hotel” weren’t written by the talented Anne Enright, would it have been published in The New Yorker? Rephrased: If I had written this story about an unnamed…

Sunday Short: The Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin

Previously On: “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster Only one story in and I’m already rethinking my strategy for the year… I decided on shorts from The New Yorker to easily find stories by authors I’d like to read more from (Munro, Wolff, Alexie, Smith…)…