PositiveThe New York TimesDan Fesperman charts a different, braver course, working his fiction seamlessly into the facts, writing his characters into the past and weaving his story into the warp of history’s nightmares. The result is a sharp, smart novel that hits fast and hard, its reverberations echoing after the last page is turned ... The writing is sometimes less than fresh and characters with dramatically important secrets seem to think undercover, even when the narration is deep in their minds. Are they dissembling even to themselves? Or just conveniently staying in character for the reader’s sake? ... But these quibbles matter little as the story picks up speed, and Fesperman plays to his strengths, fashioning gripping plotlines out of his deep knowledge of history and politics, setting and culture, sketching in C.I.A. operatives, Muslim extremists and F.B.I. agents with equal credibility. I was particularly taken with how he manages to shift the tone of the narrative as momentum builds.
K. Ferrari, Trans. by Adrian Nathan West
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewSubtlety is not something Ferrari has time for. He barrels through this blackly comic story the way his protagonist, Luis Machi, barrels through life: loud, crude and indifferent to the finer points of character and plot as he rushes inexorably toward doom ... Heavy on action and dark humor — fluidly rendered in West’s translation from the original Spanish — Like Flies From Afar is for those who like their noir fast, short and nasty.
A. C. Grayling
RaveLibrary JournalGrayling offers a remarkably comprehensive history of philosophy from ancient Greece to the present. He covers not only Western philosophy but Indian, Chinese, Arabic-Persian, and African philosophy as well, and his skill as an expositor is apparent. Grayling clearly explains difficult ideas, such as Hegel’s account of freedom and Bradley’s argument about relations, and is particularly strong on philosophical logic, one of his own specialties, as is evident in his discussions of Frege, Russell, Carnap, and Quine. Grayling is a master of the surprising anecdote ... He does not conceal his own favorable view of the Enlightenment and replies in a penetrating way to Horkheimer and Adorno’s famous critique in Dialectic of Enlightenment ... Comparable to Anthony Kenny’s A New History of Western Philosophy, this work will interest readers of philosophy and intellectual history. It aims at general audiences, but scholars will also find it valuable.