PositiveThe Wall Street JournalFuccboi is long on style and short on incident, written in a slangy staccato first-person prose that sounds admirably fresh, at least in the early pages, and helps propel the narrative past significant longueurs ... Men are \'bros\' and women are \'baes,\' while almost all proper names are reduced to initials ... It’s hard not to be amused by a sentence like this, which invites the reader to participate in a coded form of communication, a kind of clubhouse argot—to be one of the baes or bros. At its best Conroe’s prose seduces, and like all good writing, demands a degree of intimacy between narrator and reader. Fuccboi though he may be in certain regards, Conroe’s persona here is endearing in its persistent self-deprecation. He is constantly second-guessing himself, particularly with regard to his masculinity ... We feel his pain, but unfortunately, we don’t feel that of his ex, or any of the other characters in the book, who are more ciphers than characters in the traditional sense. The narrator is a solipsist ... But he’s good company—thoughtful, insecure and questing. And he has a distinctive, compelling voice that strikes me as utterly of its moment ... As bookish as this novel is, it seems like a genuine attempt to speak to some of those who don’t normally give a shit about books...while also being worth the attention of those who do.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... heart-wrenching ... the obverse of an addiction memoir: a chronicle of trying to make sense of a loved one’s struggles with the problem ... Zimmerman writes movingly about the glimmers of romance in the couple’s early years, when they would read poetry together in bed and take long drives into the wilderness ... Zimmerman can be keenly observant ... Zimmerman’s experience leads her to research and report on white-collar addiction, particularly with respect to the legal profession, where, she discovers, anxiety and depression are rampant, and heavy drinking and drug use common. And yet, ignorant as she was while her husband was alive, her account of her own confusion is the story that lingers.
David Foster Wallace
PositiveThe New York TimesIf Mr. Wallace were less talented, you would be inclined to shoot him -- or possibly yourself -- somewhere right around page 480 of Infinite Jest. In fact, you might anyway ... Alternately tedious and effulgent ... The overall effect is something like a sleek Vonnegut chassis wrapped in layers of post-millennial Zola ... Mr. Wallace plays it straight -- that is, almost realistically -- and seems to want to convince us of the authenticity of his vision by sheer weight of accumulated detail. The weight almost crushes the narrative at times -- as when, for example, we are treated to 10 dense pages about the disassembly of a bed, complete with diagrams ... What makes all this almost plausible, and often pleasurable, is Mr. Wallace\'s talent -- as a stylist, a satirist and a mimic -- as well as his erudition, which ranges from the world of street crime to higher mathematics. While there are many uninteresting pages in this novel, there are not many uninteresting sentences ... It\'s as if Mr. Wallace started with the Glass family whiz-kid plot and then got more interested in the gritty church-basement world of A.A.
RaveThe New York TimesThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is presented as a detective story. But it eschews most of the furnishings of high-literary enterprise as well as the conventions of genre, disorienting and reorienting the reader to devastating effect … Christopher tells us all we need to know about his condition without reference to medical terminology – just as well, since the term ‘autism’ encompasses a variety of symptoms and behavioral problems that are still baffling behavioral scientists … One of the subtle ironies of the book is that young Christopher is ultimately far more hard-boiled than any gumshoe in previous detective fiction...Christopher's skewed perspective and fierce logic make him a superb straight man, if not necessarily a stellar detective … The gulf between Christopher and his parents, between Christopher and the rest of us, remains immense and mysterious. And that gulf is ultimately the source of this novel's haunting impact.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewEarly on, Means resorts to some clunky exposition — an officer lecturing Singleton on recent history and the basic principles of the treatment — to situate us in his fictive universe. But Hystopia quickly gains momentum and plausibility thanks to its richness of detail. Means is a writer of dazzling gifts: a challenging stylist and a keen observer whose senses seem, at times, pitched to a state of hyperawareness.