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Sean rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy
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The first story, "Family Happiness," is fine, but it doesn't achieve the depth and complexity of the other stories here. In particular, the title story is unusually constructed, and seems to be told in a way that it's impossible to really know exactl ...more
Sean rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller
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Muller writes in a figurative style that is difficult to decipher at times but that fits well with the dreamlike atmosphere of unreality and menace she intends to evoke. The portrait of living in Romania under a brutal dictatorship accords with what ...more
Sean rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
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Another one for the "wanted to love" pile. Wolitzer can write; that's not the problem. Her prose style is not showy, but she evoked time and place expertly, and no detail ever seemed out of place, or at least not unintentionally so. I think for me th ...more
Sean rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem
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With Amnesia Moon, an early Lethem novel, Lethem basically writes a Philip K. Dick novel. Lethem's a fan of Dick's writing, and if you've read any of Dick's novels, you'll notice the many similarities right away. (I was getting a strong Dr. Bloodmone ...more
Sean rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem
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Lethem is someone I continue to read even though I find myself admiring his work more often than I actually connect with it on any emotional level. And yet, even though his work on the whole tends to leave me cold, his last couple novels have surpris ...more
Sean rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
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I wanted to love this book. Obsessively hunting for old vinyl is probably my #1 pastime, and I've spent many, many hours in record stores exactly like Brokeland Records in this novel. Also, I tend to like Chabon's writing; a couple of his books are f ...more
Sean rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Tenth of December by George Saunders
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This might be my favorite of Saunders' short story collections, and I've loved them all. Although his stories frequently feature horrible people acting horribly to one another, Saunders nearly always manages to convey a sympathy for his characters th ...more
Sean rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
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This is a beautifully imagined collection of short stories that frequently are disturbing in original ways. Link is great at creating a feeling of disquiet with her narratives that doesn't depend on cliches. I don't think I've seen any other books by ...more
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The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
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Sean rated a book 5 of 5 stars
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
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