RaveThe Boston GlobeEverything in Trust is in its place. Like four exquisite dioramas, Diaz has set up all of these stories with great precision to present two fundamental questions: Why do we tell stories? And at what cost are those stories told? The stories in question revolve around finance, power, and identity, are all self-serving, and are about much more than what one person does to another ... a remarkably accessible treatise on the power of fiction. This unquestionably smart and sophisticated novel not only mirrors truth, but helps us to better understand it.
RaveThe Boston GlobeA novel about first contact is nothing new, of course, but Hughes, best known as a graphic designer, typographer, and illustrator, has reinvented this classic science fiction trope in a massive work of dizzying originality ... XX is a page turner that transcends the typical alien story, becoming an engaging treatise on the nature and development of written language and its indelible impact on human culture ... Hughes is not the first to utilize imagery meant to be read and not simply looked at — though his career as a type designer positions him well to remind readers that words are images ... the imagery partners with the words to coax and tease language, revealing all it can and cannot do, and how that informs human behavior ... In XX Rian Hughes spins a familiar premise into one enchantingly rich with possibility, encouraging us to look beyond the limits of language to new means of understanding.
PositiveThe MillionsThe book’s title makes itself an obvious choice as the two parallel narratives unfold: one shadows Vladimir Brik, an expatriated Bosnian living in Chicago under the pall of the war on terror; the other makes fiction of a historical event, the 1908 killing of Jewish immigrant Lazarus Averbuch by the Chicago chief of police ... What both narratives share in common is the fact that home is not a place one can always return to, or find it easy to create elsewhere ... Using newspaper clippings and imagination, Hemon’s examination of the circumstances resulting in the death of Lazarus... On a grander scale, this inability to connect the dots, or even discern them, speaks to the development of the American experiment during the early 20th century... The lively writing makes for a vivid read that casts a glaring light on the horrors of pogroms and the Bosnian War and what was left in their wakes.