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A House for Mr Biswas
"Biswas" is my kind of novel. Some complain that it is a bit meandering and aimless, and this is true to an extent. But what the book aims to accompli ...more
Apr 26, 2009
Apr 09, 2009
The Confessions of Nat Turner
I won't really go into whether or not Styron has the right, as a rich white guy, to tell the story of the black slave, Nat Turner. Nor will I engage w ...more
May 20, 2009
May 09, 2009
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips
I think the biggest thing Mr. Chips going against him is the hyperbolic praise heaped upon him by the various publishers who have sought to capitalize ...more
Dec 27, 2008
Dec 27, 2008
Peter and Max
I'd assumed that being a longtime reader of Bill Willingham's "Fables" comic book would give an added boost to my enjoyment of his new Fables-related ...more
Oct 18, 2009
Oct 13, 2009
R.U.R. and The Insect Play
I'm far more enamored of the ideas of the two plays contained here than of the scripts themselves. Whether that's due to Capek's writing or shoddy tra ...more
Jul 20, 2010
Jul 15, 2010
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
"World War Z" is far better than it has any right to be. By all appearances, it was just another novel chasing the still-going-strong zombie genre fad ...more
Jun 27, 2011
Jun 20, 2011
I Was Amelia Earhart
There is something a little bit 'college lit mag' about Jane Mendelsohn's "I Was Amelia Earhart", but minus the few little quirks that reveal her inex ...more
Sep 28, 2010
Sep 26, 2010
The Thirty-Nine Steps
"The 39 Steps" is like literary cotton candy. Its cheap and easy and tangible when you acquire it, but has a funny habit of disolving before the proce ...more
Jun 17, 2010
Jun 15, 2010
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Originally published at Tristram Shandy: Pre-Modern Post-Modernism - Fort Worth Literature | ...more
Jan 29, 2011
Jan 16, 2011
With his very first novel, Nabokov seems to tease the reader with the notion that they're reading a Victorian romance. His language is beautifuly flow ...more
Dec 16, 2009
Dec 13, 2009
Invisible Cities
At some point in the past, I got it into my head that Italo Calvino was really hip. I'm not sure why, as none of my friends have read him, I didn't st ...more
Jan 2008
Aug 19, 2008
The Road
The power of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" comes not from big ideas or high concepts or epic confrontations. It comes for the massive, all-encompassing ...more
Nov 15, 2009
Nov 13, 2009
Beatrice and Virgil
Whether you'll enjoy "Beatrice and Virgil" depends largely on how you view Yann Martel as an author. Viewed through the prism of his "Life of Pi" fame ...more
May 19, 2010
May 16, 2010
Sherman Alexie's two most recent works were released relatively closely together, but were for different audiences. One was the young-adult novel, "Th ...more
Dec 17, 2008
Dec 16, 2008
Dreamers of the Day
Russell's "Dreamers of the Day" doesn't quite pack the existential gut-punch that her Miguel Sandoz duology did (go read "The Sparrow" and "Children o ...more
Dec 06, 2011
Dec 02, 2011
Pirate Latitudes
"Pirate Latitudes" almost feels like a novelization of a Discovery Channel documentary about pirates. You know those documentaries where actors are hi ...more
Dec 27, 2009
Dec 23, 2009
A Fable
I don't mind dense and rambling novels, but when combined with 'repetitive' and 'opaque', the results are a far more challenging read than seems neces ...more
Jul 03, 2010
Jun 28, 2010
Blue Hearts
"Blue Hearts" is not an earth-shattering representative of the political-thriller genre. But what it lacks in groundbreaking storytelling, it makes up ...more
Nov 04, 2009
Oct 31, 2009
Potter Springs
I should start by saying that I'm not even close to the target audience for this book. I happen to have met the author, however (and teach her kids!) ...more
Apr 05, 2009
Mar 31, 2009
Bel Canto
I don't think I've ever read a novel I've enjoyed so much only to have its impact so severely weakened by such an impotent epilogue. I was quite ready ...more
Aug 22, 2009
Aug 16, 2009
The Prestige
I began reading "The Prestige" not having seen the film version, but I had heard whisperings about the secret twist ending that apparently went over w ...more
May 2009
Apr 26, 2009
Little Women (Little Women, #1)
"Little Women" is a sneaky bit of literature, spending its first one hundred pages or so being exactly what the uninitiated might expect it to be: cha ...more
Dec 25, 2010
Dec 18, 2010
The Plot Against America
The premise of "The Plot Against America" sounds like something you might find tucked away on the sci-fi shelf at your local bookstore, filed under th ...more
Jul 15, 2011
Jul 09, 2011
It's very difficult to write about why one would like "Room" without going into some pretty significant spoilers, so for those of you who might yet re ...more
Sep 14, 2010
Sep 11, 2010
Death with Interruptions
The first and second halves of "Death With Interruptions" are so distinct in tone, its as if 80-year old Nobel winner, Saramago, wrote half a novel, a ...more
Nov 20, 2009
Nov 15, 2009
The Hermit
My only exposure to Ionesco (prior to this novel) was reading and almost performing in "The Bald Soprano" (some stuff came up my senior year in high s ...more
Feb 16, 2009
Feb 12, 2009
End Zone
Don DeLillo is a fascinatingly frustrating author. He is one of the few authors who can claim to have a distinct voice. When a DeLillo character talks ...more
Feb 25, 2009
Feb 20, 2009
Falling Man
"Falling Man" is a reminder of what Don DeLillo is capable of when he sets out with a clear goal for his protagonists. It seems that much of the time ...more
Mar 20, 2010
Mar 12, 2010
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
If there's one thing you can expect from Italo Calvino, its not to expect anything, because whatever preconceptions you can dream up about what a Calv ...more
Sep 04, 2010
Aug 26, 2010
Bech: A Book
Henry Bech is no Harry Angstrom, but if its John Updike writing it, you know it has to be in some way worthwhile.

I've talked with a lot of people who
not set
Oct 08, 2009
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