A Streetcar Named Desire
My wife gave me the two-volume Library of America complete plays of Tennessee Williams. I have, of course, seen all the movies made from his work but ...more
Mar 21, 2010
Mar 19, 2010
The Blackboard Jungle
My wife is proud of me. I never quit books and she keeps saying to me, "Life is too short for bad books." This isn't a bad book...it's just dull and H ...more
Apr 2013
Mar 30, 2013
Killing Them Softly
3 1/2 stars. Higgins' stories are almost incidental to his method, which always involves heavily nuanced dialog. This novel is about 15% plot and 85% ...more
Mar 23, 2014
Mar 20, 2014
Not a mystery, per se, but more a narrative built on strong characters backed by a concrete and evocative sense of place (Cornwall)...with a murder. I ...more
Feb 21, 2013
Feb 18, 2013
Absolute Zero Cool
One of the funniest and freshest novels I've read in a while. I cannot remember a book I copied more lines from. And it's not just aphoristic. There's ...more
Sep 27, 2012
Sep 24, 2012
The Acceptance World (A Dance to the Music of Time, #3)
The third book in his monumental 12 novel cycle, Dance to the Music of Time, and the first one to really catch fire with me. In the first two nothing ...more
May 08, 2009
May 04, 2009
The Reader
I was dubious about this book. Even after 50 pages I was dubious. But, dang, it flat out won me over and the last half of the book is tres powerful. S ...more
not set
Dec 20, 2008
The Vengeful Virgin
A tough, gritty, well-written little noir. Maybe only 3 1/2 stars but is sure was fun to read. And he writes lines like this: “She looked hot enough t ...more
Mar 29, 2014
Mar 27, 2014
A copious collection of beautiful photographs and miniature biographies of over 200 famous Memphians, both living and dead. This will be THE Memphis g ...more
not set
Oct 13, 2011
A Judgement in Stone
This is wicked good, reminiscent of the best of Patricia Highsmith. Its first line is "Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could n ...more
Feb 02, 2014
Jan 30, 2014
Mother's Milk
These Patrick Melrose novels are rich and smart. They remind me at times of Philip Roth.
This: “’Oh, darling…are you your own worst enemy?’
‘I certainl
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 24, 2013
The Travels of Cocoa Poem Lorry
From Adak to Lahore,
Zimapan to Mogadore,
Or wherever C. P. Lorry
Steps ashore,
Starving readers rise to cry,
“More, more, more!”
–John Pritchard, author of
Sep 28, 2013
Sep 28, 2013
Boy In Darkness
Mervyn Peake is always delightful. Though not as involving as the grand, monumental Gormenghast Trilogy, to which this is a short coda, Boy in Darknes ...more
May 08, 2014
May 08, 2014
Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone
A tad too episodic (and, honestly, the novel has a bit of trouble living up to its great title) but it still packs a magic-realism punch. It's like so ...more
May 12, 2014
May 09, 2014
Shooting Star/Spiderweb (Hard Case Crime #42)
Read "Spiderweb" in this paperback two-fer. Nifty little noir. Maybe 3 1/2 stars. Maybe even 3 3/4 or 3 and 7/10 or...
Anyway, I was surprised by how g
Aug 19, 2012
Aug 17, 2012
Barthelme is brilliant. He's witty and he gets all the little things right. Waveland is funny and warm and smart and crackles with brilliant dialogue. ...more
May 29, 2009
May 25, 2009
The Invention of Morel
Genius and ingenious. Octavio Paz called it "a perfect novel." Borges said "To classify it as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole." For ...more
Aug 2013
Jul 30, 2013
My Petition for More Space
What a strange, bleak, austere, Kafkaesque little tale, told in finely chiseled prose. Besides Kafka it also is reminiscent of the best of Beckett or ...more
Jun 2014
May 30, 2014
Terry Stokes: I read him when I first started reading poetry, in my early 20s, and he was one of my favorites. Rereading him I found much still deligh ...more
Jan 21, 2014
Jan 10, 2014
Parents And Children
This is my first Ivy Compton-Burnett but I sense the start of a love affair. This is the best novel I've read in a while, eccentric, moving, surprisin ...more
not set
Mar 16, 2011
Finding the Islands
I am in the process of re-reading many of my poetry books, cover to cover, to savor poems I missed in past perusing and to read the collections for wh ...more
Feb 24, 2013
Aug 09, 2008
Lost and Found
Wonderfully visual and visceral flash fiction with lovely art. Meg Pokrass is the queen of this form, call it flash fiction, prose poem or whatever. S ...more
not set
Dec 18, 2009
The Human Comedy
Mildly disappointing but still charming. It's like Tom Sawyer without Twain's mordant wit. At times cloyingly sentimental but leavened with moments of ...more
Jul 04, 2012
Jul 01, 2012
Horse People
Though her own writer it would not be amiss to say that Cary Holladay is the heir to Eudora Welty's keenly observed short stories. 'Horse People' is a ...more
Feb 24, 2013
Feb 21, 2013
Jimmy Stewart: A Biography
Except for his politics he was an upright guy who made some of the best movies of his generation. This excellent bio was just exactly what I wanted to ...more
not set
Dec 03, 2008
The Rainbird Pattern
A seamless, crackerjack plot. Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot, was based, very loosely, on this. It might be the only case in Hitchcock's grand ca ...more
May 30, 2014
May 25, 2014
Harvest Home
Tryon's really good and this is a satisfying horror story, just right for this time of year. It has some genuine scares, and stylistically, he is clos ...more
Oct 26, 2013
Oct 19, 2013
Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2)
This was just ok. This is the 2nd Sayers I've read and I just can't seem to get with her. I have smart reader friends who recommend her but she doesn' ...more
Jul 21, 2009
Jul 18, 2009
The Stepford Wives
Ok, as a stylist he isn't exactly DeLillo but this is a mean, lean little tale, well-served by the (first) movie version. Give him another 1/2 star fo ...more
May 02, 2014
Apr 30, 2014
Zombies of the Gene Pool (Jay Omega, #2)
More like 3 1/2 stars. Despite its pulp fiction title and deliciously lurid cover this is more an academic farce than a mystery, or sci-fi parody. And ...more
Jul 14, 2013
Jul 10, 2013