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Criss Cross
Wonderfully written, and a rare example of the omniscient mode in middle-grade/YA fiction, where first-person point of view has been king in recent ye ...more
Apr 12, 2012
Apr 15, 2012
The Fortress of Solitude
Now that I've read this book, I share Lethem's amazement that James Wood reviewed it without mentioning the magic ring. Though the ring vanishes for l ...more
Sep 28, 2013
Sep 28, 2013
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Pay attention to the paperclips; this is my first suggestion for the reader of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Two story-lines run th ...more
Oct 23, 2013
Nov 23, 2013
Summer Rain
Though I preferred Duras's The Lover, this book also has its aloof, chilly pleasures. Chilly and aloof because Duras keeps the psychic distance (intim ...more
Jul 09, 2013
Jul 10, 2013
Bigger than a Bread Box
Rebecca Shapiro is 12, lives in Baltimore with her parents and younger brother Lew (2), and is working on her math homework when the lights blink off ...more
Dec 29, 2012
Dec 29, 2012
A Passage to India
Forster has perhaps the lightest hand when it comes to the omniscient point of view. This plus the amused, witty tone of his voice in part accounts fo ...more
Jul 17, 2013
Jul 15, 2013
The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc.
Lethem divides his collection into ten sections: My Plan To Begin With; Dick, Calvino, Ballard: SF and Postmodernism; Plagiarisms; Film and Comics; Wa ...more
Apr 26, 2013
Apr 13, 2013
Farewell, My Lovely
Chandler has this wonderful way of tossing seemingly unrelated incidents or even cases in Marlowe's path and slowly showing his tenacious detective fi ...more
May 26, 2013
May 31, 2013
Six Memos for the Next Millennium
Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, and Multiplicity are the five memos Calvino completed for the 1985-86 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at H ...more
Jun 20, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
David Lodge is the author of a collection of essays, titled The Art of Fiction, that is one of my favorite guides to writing. Here, in Therapy, he tur ...more
Feb 25, 2012
Feb 26, 2012
Letters and Drawings of Bruno Schulz
Fascinating correspondence between Schulz and other members of Eastern Europe's artistic society, shadowed by the oncoming disaster of World War II: s ...more
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 26, 2012
Inherent Vice
Pynchon's take on the hard-boiled detective genre is appropriately Pynchonesque in all the right ways. The protagonist-detective, Larry "Doc" Sportell ...more
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
Howards End
The light, agile tone of Forster's narration is breathtaking, but don't mistake lightness of tone for slightness of purpose: Howard's End has emotiona ...more
Aug 11, 2013
Aug 05, 2013
Penny Dreadful
Ten-year-old Penelope Grey lives in a mansion in the city with her parents but is bored. Two wishes made in the family wishing well seem to move the p ...more
Dec 27, 2012
Dec 26, 2012
The Long Goodbye
In this novel, far more than the Chandler's earlier ones, I noticed the frame of Marlowe recounting a case since closed, rather than Marlowe, and the ...more
May 31, 2013
Jun 03, 2013
Dead Souls
"Poema," Gogol named this book in the title page he created, maintaining that this journey through provincial Russia was not a novel, or was a hybrid ...more
Jul 28, 2012
Aug 02, 2012
The Tiger Rising
From Scarlett's bookshelf, this National Book Award Finalist is a close third person narration, with occasional dips into omniscience. Rob Horton and ...more
Sep 15, 2011
Sep 16, 2011
Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls
It's remarkable the freshness a good writer can bring to even such well-mapped terrain as the Batman story. Snyder uses the full range of fictional te ...more
Jan 04, 2014
Jan 14, 2014
Batman: The Long Halloween
As per the blurb, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer, architects of the Dark Knight trilogy of films that is about to conclude this July with The Dark ...more
May 08, 2012
May 10, 2012
David Copperfield
Unusually, for Dickens I think, this book is not written in the omniscient mode, but is a first person account, and furthermore, is written in a prese ...more
Dec 31, 2011
Jan 03, 2012
The Sweetheart Season
Karen uses a first person, present tense frame around a past tense narrative that often sounds omniscient--a terrific risk that I love, getting omnisc ...more
Feb 16, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Les Misérables
As in his Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hugo's Les Miserables is chock full of digressions: slang, Waterloo, prostitution, the nature of genius, and, memor ...more
May 21, 2013
Apr 13, 2013
The Best American Essays 2013
I have some brief notes on several of the essays here, though I enjoyed them all to varying degrees. "His Last Game" is, I think, my favorite.

"The Gir
Feb 27, 2014
Feb 17, 2014
The History Of Luminous Motion
Lyrical, sharp, beautiful writing in the service of a disturbing story. Bradfield takes the risk of stretching the voice of his eight-year-old point o ...more
Oct 16, 2012
Jan 16, 2012
The Three Musketeers
Serialized in 1844, set in the years 1625-1627, it would be difficult to find a smarter book of political intrigue, love, villainy, and action. Much a ...more
Sep 05, 2012
Sep 05, 2012
The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13)
As with the previous 12 books, this one is mainly past tense narrative wrapped in the present tense frame of the near-omniscient investigator, Lemony ...more
Apr 05, 2012
Apr 07, 2012
Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)
One of my daughter's middle-grade summer reading selections. She's in England now, for another week, and will read this when she returns. I wonder wha ...more
Jul 23, 2013
Jul 24, 2013
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
**spoiler alert** Read with Scarlett as part of her summer reading list. From the point of view of Christopher Boone, a high-funtioning autistic boy o ...more
Jul 29, 2012
Aug 02, 2012
Ursu's omniscient narrator early on signals the magic to come and then gradually moves the story of Hazel's attempt to rescue, and remain friends with ...more
Dec 21, 2012
Jan 05, 2013
A Book Of Minutes: Poems
A minute is a poem of 60 syllables--thus the designation as a "minute"--with three syllabic line counts of 8-4-4-4 each. She used the minute form as a ...more
May 17, 2012
May 18, 2012
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