So for those who may have been a little lost amidst the religious politics of The Name of the Rose or the Byzantine byways of Foucault’s Pendulum, this latest might seem to offer a more secure footing from which to enjoy Eco’s intellectual gymnastics. If the endpoint of the novel is The Protocols and mid-century European anti-Semitism, that’s handy. We know what we think about that.
January 4th, 2012
January 2nd, 2012
Magic is all around us, if only we’d pay attention more—if only we’d dream. Maybe then we’d sense its dark secret is really light, a bonfire of belief beyond understanding, but real. The kind of magic—or is it love?—that slays dragons and rescues princesses and lives happily ever after in the imagination of children.
by Erin Suzuki
December 14th, 2011
The “cat’s table” is the place where the least important passengers on the ship are seated during mealtimes—and it’s where the novel’s narrator, eleven-year old Michael (nicknamed Mynah), finds himself seated, alongside the companions who will subtly alter and inform the trajectory of his life.
by Erin Suzuki
November 16th, 2011
Leonard’s corrosive bipolar depression leads him to self-destruct as his brilliant mind turns against him. Hospitalized for the first time, he realizes that “the smarter you were, the worse it was. The sharper your brain, the more it cut you up.”
by Marla Wick
November 3rd, 2011
After a happy, if lean, year spent in a tiny mountain cabin, struggling to get their bearings—financial and otherwise, James receives an offer he is unable to refuse. A friend of Kate’s, he learns, has been living the high life for years off of his prospering business in the marijuana industry. Darren owns several properties with untold numbers of workers and can afford to spend half his time and a good chunk of his money in Thailand, sleeping around and supporting a small farming industry of some sort.
by Marla Wick
October 10th, 2011
The family takes a trip over the frozen sea to a lighthouse. While there, the 6 year-old daughter, Maja, vanishes without a trace. Her small footsteps lead away from the lighthouse over the snow and ice, then vanish.
by Marla Wick
October 4th, 2011
The revealed mystery of “those across the river,” how they came to be and what they want, is a delightfully genre-bending juxtaposition of supernatural horror and gothic drama. Buehlman blends these surprising elements in a novel that is simultaneously poetically spare and defiantly eclectic.
October 3rd, 2011
At root, the novel seems to rest on a misapprehension: that the world of Jane Austen would be more exciting if it had vampires in it. During it, we discover that in the first draft of Mansfield Park, Fanny was, in fact, one of said bloodthirsty beasties. Did anyone ever read Mansfield Park and think “Not bad, but it could do with more of the undead”?
by Erin Suzuki
September 29th, 2011
In a neat reversal of the Reynard myth, the students at a school that molds young men into “world-class husbands” for purchase by the wealthiest bidder discover a murderer locked away beneath the campus grounds—a personification of all of the human weaknesses and desires that are forcibly discouraged and suppressed in order to create cookie-cutter Prince Charmings skilled in exemplary masculine arts like “Strong Handshakes, Silence, Rudimentary Car Mechanics, How to Mow the Lawn, Explosive Displays of Authority, Sport and Nutrition Against Impotence.”
September 4th, 2011
Filled with unsettling images and language, Alois Hotchnig’s newly translated collection is an uncomfortable journey, but one made extremely rewarding by innovative narrative and pace. Each of the nine stories in this slim volume are difficult to retell – characters are nameless and locations generic – yet, their force comes not from the particular.
by Ed Voves
August 1st, 2011
The theme of making a life choice between love or ambition has been a staple of literature since the Aeneid. You might think that this novel has little new to recommend it besides the unorthodox choice of the Depression as a setting for a romance Rules of Civility, however, is a book of amazing depth. In this, his first novel, Amor Towles reveals an exceptional flair for character development.
July 26th, 2011
An interior “desecrator” who despises the bored super-rich housewives who can afford her services, she lives amongst people for whom money has dissolved away the real world, and takes her revenge by smashing their heads in with the poker which she carries wrapped in a yoga mat.
July 18th, 2011
Yet in Federico’s town, pools are pumped and wells are closed. They remove centuries old trees in the square and install a serpent-shaped fountain; they provide more jobs as the spa complex grows, at the same time bulldozing vineyards and cobblestone streets. Federico’s response is extreme but at the sight of his parched land perhaps understandable. He goes guerrilla.
by Ed Voves
May 28th, 2011
It is the daily struggle of life that blights the lives of Russell’s protagonists. Ill-health and empty wallets are a greater danger than a Cheyenne raid. For Doc Holliday, the enemy is tuberculosis, a cruel, cunning disease that truly consumes him, body and — steadily, stealthily — soul. During a brief period of remission, Doc rides out to the surrounding prairie and experiences an epiphany of what life, during a good spell, can offer.
May 16th, 2011
The title refers to the new female embodiment aspired to by the main character Anjali Bose – the modern woman working as one of India’s burgeoning number of call-center agents “bearing hope and energy that is infectious.” This modern woman has abandoned the sari for American blue jeans, hangs out at Starbucks, shops at upscale stores, and commutes around town by motorcycle.
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