The Glass Menagerie
Not quite A Streetcar Named Desire but still powerful. And it has this great passage: "In Spain there was Guernica! But here there was only hot swing ...more
Oct 20, 2010
Oct 18, 2010
The Nightrunners
Lurid, ugly, brutal and badly written. Possibly the worst book I've ever read; surely the worst book I've ever finished. Why did I finish it? I guess ...more
Aug 25, 2013
Aug 24, 2013
Mrs. Miniver
Despite its upper class perspective, despite its veering occasionally toward the sweet or precious, this is quite good. What saves her is her style, p ...more
Apr 09, 2014
Apr 06, 2014
Night Flight
Powerful novella about the early days of flying, written in tight, Hemingwayesque prose. The story concerns a pilot lost in a night storm. Ironically, ...more
Oct 28, 2013
Oct 26, 2013
Green for Danger
This is a good read. You hear, from those in the know, that Brand is ranked highly as a mystery writer, up there with Christie and Sayers. This was pr ...more
Aug 06, 2012
Aug 03, 2012
Double Indemnity: The Complete Screenplay
“I have a friend who’s got a funny theory. He says when two people commit a murder they’re kind of on a trolley car, and one can’t off with
Aug 15, 2014
Aug 13, 2014
The Better Angels: A Novel
McCarry writes spy novels but each one transcends the genre and each in its own idiosyncratic way. This is one of his best (it is not a Paul Christoph ...more
Dec 18, 2013
Dec 11, 2013
Bad News (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #2)
These Patrick Melrose novels really are delicious.
From "Bad News": “I’ve been thinking all night…if can call that thinking—about whether ideas come f
Nov 16, 2012
Nov 12, 2012
The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King #1-4)
This is probably more like 3 1/2 stars. I admit to being disappointed by it because I had been looking forward to reading it for a long time. The stor ...more
Jan 17, 2010
Dec 27, 2009
3 stars for the premise and 1 star for the wretched prose style, so the average is 2 stars. Like Stephen King Koontz undermines even his best and most ...more
Jun 08, 2012
Jun 02, 2012
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 Meadow
Elliptical and impressionistic prose which weaves a tapestry rather than elaborating an extended narrative. This is sort of a poetic Little House on t ...more
Jul 06, 2014
Jul 03, 2014
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'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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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