How do you make love stay? Why is the pyramid on the dollar bill and a pack of camel lights? Why do we discriminate against inanimate objects? RobbinsHow do you make love stay? Why is the pyramid on the dollar bill and a pack of camel lights? Why do we discriminate against inanimate objects? Robbins explores these questions and more in his usual weirdness....more
Nicholas Mosley’s latest novel tells the story of Adam, a writer concerned with the characterization of God in the book of GeneLibrary Journal Review:
Nicholas Mosley’s latest novel tells the story of Adam, a writer concerned with the characterization of God in the book of Genesis as a punishing father-figure. In an attempt to understand this portrayal, Adam rewrites the story of Genesis within his own narrative relation to his daughter Sophie. Much like Mosley’s other works, this novel poses serious philosophical issues. Throughout the text, the paradoxical issue of human freedom and determinism are explored in-depth. Each character in this novel struggles to search for new understanding in spite of existing within circumstance. Through this sense of the manifold possibilities yet to be discovered, Mosley gives the reader a glimpse into a world that is rich with complexity and chance. As a corollary, his fiction is sardonically vague and resistant to simplistic interpretation. Overall, Mosley asks the same thing of his readers as he does the characters in his novel: to question certainty with the senses of experience.
In this seemingly autobiographical narrative, Al Neimi mines the depths of Arabic literature in an attempt to revive the forgotLibrary Journal Review:
In this seemingly autobiographical narrative, Al Neimi mines the depths of Arabic literature in an attempt to revive the forgotten language of sexuality. Her purpose is to show the subtle tension that exists between today's conservative Arab and Middle Eastern cultures and their lascivious literary past. Al Neimi continually underscores her thesis that Arabic is the language of sex by referencing the works of Ahmad ibn Yahya, Ali al-Katibi, and al-Tijani. The anonymous narrator, who works as a librarian, is asked to compile and give a presentation on classical Arab erotica. While uncovering the sensuality of classical Arabic literature, she unlocks her own hidden sensuality through purely sexual relationships. In the novel, the continual oscillation between classical texts and modern society produces humorous chapters dealing with both Viagra and Sex and the City. A best seller throughout the Arab world, this book will have wide appeal, particularly to readers of erotica, women's, studies and contemporary Arabic literature.—Joshua Finnell, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA...more
Alluding to Jean-Paul Sartre's famous study of Gustave Flaubert, Jouet's recent book asks, "What, at this point in time, can weLibrary Journal Review:
Alluding to Jean-Paul Sartre's famous study of Gustave Flaubert, Jouet's recent book asks, "What, at this point in time, can we make of a man?" As a member of the Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle), a group of French writers and mathematicians who use constrained writing techniques for inspiration, Jouet's literary output is often characterized as avant-garde. This is a work of fiction based upon the life of painter Paul Gauguin. The prose is a first-person stream of consciousness that follows Paul, a clothing designer, in search of inspiration. Traveling among the people of France's colonies, Paul adopts a radical approach to design and, in the process, unravels his own sense of civility among the "savages." While his ideas expand artistically, his body and mind deteriorate physically from disease. In the end, the reader wonders whether Paul gained insight at the expense of sanity or vice versa. Often fascinating and brilliant, this book contains much of value for the patient reader, but it is not for everyone. Recommended for those interested in subversive and experimental fiction.—Joshua Finnell, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA...more
Word for word, sentence for sentence, paragraph for paragraph, Nayman creates a gripping narrative with style and depth. Set inLibrary Journal Review:
Word for word, sentence for sentence, paragraph for paragraph, Nayman creates a gripping narrative with style and depth. Set in a post-World War II asylum, the cast of characters interact within their defined roles of clinicians, nurses, and patients. However, when Dr. Harrison encounters a mysterious patient with a dark secret in his counseling sessions, the well-defined boundaries that separate the characters slowly erode as their lives intertwine. In the process, the arbitrary lines between sanity and insanity are exposed. Nayman paces the narrative well, with thick, sensuous writing throughout, developing each character with a compelling reality. Much like her collection of short stories, Awake in the Dark, this novel continues to explore the ways in which individuals negotiate and construct their sense of identity. Featuring a plot as rich as the characters, this is a thought-provoking and psychological exploration of love, war, and human identity. VERDICT Readers who enjoyed Ian McEwan's Atonement will enjoy the introspective tone of Nayman's work.—Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH...more
This is a novel of young love, but it is also an engaging philosophical treatise on the power of imagination. Similar to Japin'Library Journal Review:
This is a novel of young love, but it is also an engaging philosophical treatise on the power of imagination. Similar to Japin's last two novels (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi and In Lucia's Eyes), this is a work of historical fiction. Incorporating elements of his autobiography into the fabric of the narrative, Japin (fictionalized here as the character Maxim) details the dissolution of Maxim's relationship with a young actress, Gala, via a love triangle with the famed Italian director Federico Fellini, whom Japin here refers to as Snaporaz. Japin's innovative approach is to advance the story of Maxim and Gala within the narrated memory of Snaporaz, interleaving the tales of each man's romance with Gala in a cinematic fashion. The reader is immediately drawn into a narrative wherein a great tale of young adults mixes with Snaporaz's philosophical appreciation for a broadening vision of the arts. VERDICT Japin successfully delivers a heartbreaking description of that most elusive, complicated, and yet rewarding of human relationships--true love. Although this is evocative of the film Synecdoche, New York, Japin's storytelling is more lucid than Charlie Kaufman's.
In his first novel since the 2005 Man Booker Prize-winning The Sea, Banville reminds the world that he is one of the best proseLibrary Journal Review:
In his first novel since the 2005 Man Booker Prize-winning The Sea, Banville reminds the world that he is one of the best prose stylists at work today. He gives us a day in the life of the Godley siblings, who have gathered at the bedside of their comatose father with their stepmother. Narrated from the perspective of the god Hermes, the tale oscillates between the Godley family on Earth and the lives of the immortal gods. The two worlds collide throughout the novel, as the gods intervene in events transpiring among Godley family members. The drama that ensues results from the gods' ability to impersonate human beings on Earth, where they often engage in lascivious activity. At the same time, the interplay between the gods and human beings explores larger existential concepts concerning identity. The plot unfolds like a matryoshka doll, as the masks of individual characters are removed to reveal other masks. VERDICT Choosing introspective character description over rich plotlines, Banville here puts his writing prowess on full display. This work will appeal to readers who enjoy the work of John Updike or Vladimir Nabokov.