RaveThe Scotland Herald (UK)... this is a book that captivates and educates on so many levels ... Part travel journal, part reportage, part investigative journalism, it’s a work impeccably researched but heartfelt and driven by eloquent descriptive storytelling. These myriad components all serve to make the book’s core argument that migration, far from being a problem, is in fact the solution to the crises that confront so many species today, not least humankind ... Shah takes the reader on a fascinating kaleidoscopic historical and geographical journey. From the southern Californian habitat of the checkerspot butterfly to the high Himalaya and its shifting forests, to the teeming refugee and migrant camps on the Greek island of Lesbos, the eyewitness accounts and interviews from these locations are the work of an accomplished journalist ... This diversity and juxtaposition of insights into many aspects of migration are, however, both the book’s greatest strengths and occasionally a weakness. I say weakness only because of the odd moment of uncomfortable jarring in certain comparisons between human migration and that of other species. Can there really be parallels between the infinitesimal territorial relocation of the checkerspot butterfly and, say, Syrian refugees? But then again both are stories of adaptability and the necessity of mobility as a means of surviving in threatening environments ... Over the course of the book’s 10 chapters and conclusion, some readers might at times find this scattergun sweep that draws from the natural, scientific and geopolitical realm slightly disorientating. Some nitpickers might argue, too, that it occasionally takes the reader too far off course in terms of the book’s main thesis ... But such shortcomings are minor irritations and more than compensated for by the way Shah convincingly pulls these disparate ends together to reveal how migration and movement are as much a necessity to existence as breathing ... Shah does a tremendous service to our understanding of the malign manipulation of the supposed \'migrant threat\' ... Totally fascinating, and extremely well written, this is a book of our times and one all of us should take the time to read.
MixedLambda Literary\"John Boyne’s melodrama, A Ladder to the Sky, asks us to accept a number of clichés ... The great pleasure of Boyne’s novel is the schadenfreude. If you like to see bad guys get comeuppance, you will be more than satisfied when Swift is brought low, repeatedly ... Creating (and destroying) Swift must have been great fun for the author, and occasionally it is fun for the reader, too, but the lack of genuine humanizing elements makes those dark joys short lived.\
Christine Angot, Trans. by Tess Lewis
RaveLambda LiteraryFor her raw rage and talent Angot is immensely admirable, but she is never cuddly or affable. Queer readers of L’Inceste might bristle immediately at her repeated insistence that she was 'homosexual' for only three months. In the book’s second sentence she actually says she was 'condemned' to be so. Angot often analyzes feelings and situations until her words disintegrate into a Gertrude Stein–like babble. In disintegrating and attempting desperately to reintegrate, Angot examines the process of writing—of expression—itself, along with every twist and turn of an obsessed, violated, powerless mind. The book is insanely alive, jolting the reader awake, daring to the reader fight to it; the reader emerges from these challenges dazed but uncertain who has 'won.'