RaveThe Washington PostThe chapters on his parents are so distant from that in time, culture and feeling that the whole seems disjointed and pointless ... At first, that is; until, bit by bit, something remarkable and beautiful and ever so subtle grows, and Father and Son becomes Raban’s finest and most moving book ...A life ending, a life beginning. Father and son. I wept.
RaveThe Washington PostThis is no straightforward narrative but a book built from scraps that belie its intricate engineering ... A kind of yearning dream, a tossing and turning in your bed in the night.
PositiveThe Washington PostA sober, daytime, conventionally structured narrative about exploring the deep by manned submersible, made personal by Casey’s quest to descend to the depths herself ... A fine tour of the history and challenges of exploring this most fantastical and forbidding of earthen worlds.
PositiveThe Washington PostIt sounds pretentious but isn’t, because Grant is no city-slicker wannabe or Instagram influencer ... At moments I wished Grant would step back a bit, try to make sense of everything — his journey, the landscape, the nation of which it’s such a storied part — to connect the dots and bring a kind of meaning to this West he’s taking us through, but he’s after something subtler. The details build.
PositiveThe Washington PostThe Wager is unadorned, almost pure, horror-filled plot, without the usual Grannian first-person moments, a tightly written, relentless, blow-by-blow account that is hard to put down, even as there are sometimes frustrating narrative gaps, a result of the limits of nonfiction grappling with 280-year-old events. For all the hours we spend with Cheap, Bulkeley and the others, they remain inaccessibly distant.
PositiveThe Washington PostWanderlust is at times a rollicking book about a remarkable life, but Mitenbuler runs into two problems. First, for all his adventures, Freuchen was mostly a supporting character ... Second, Mitenbuler is often so caught up in Freuchen’s frenetic movements that he seldom pauses to make enough sense of them, or the \'lost age\' of early-20th-century exploration in which Freuchen moved ... we see everything passing at high speed, but I kept wanting more stocktaking and introspection, both from Freuchen himself and from Mitenbuler. Still, Wanderlust made me envious of the time and the man.