PositiveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneFor 258 pages, The Hearts of Men speeds along with devastating descriptions of the cruelty inherent in adolescent bullying and other forms of torture that come from standing out in a homogeneous culture. But the plot twists once too often, looking forward to 2019 through the eyes of Quick’s widowed daughter-in-law, and the writing breaks down into something that is too predictably plotted to compare to the stylistic sophistication the reader has grown to expect ... The disappointing conclusion does not undermine the lessons that Butler teaches about the betrayal, abandonment and hurt that people inflict on one another. But given Butler’s remarkable skills, The Hearts of Men offers a reminder of how frustrating it is to encounter a good book that could have been great.
MixedThe Minneapolis Star TribuneLamb deftly details the objectification of women. He looks at the body-shaming that can afflict girls faced with nearly unattainable standards of female beauty ... What is bothersome are not the conclusions, but the way I’ll Take You There takes you there. Lamb relies on visions of ghosts in an old movie theater and time travel that seem unnecessary and distracting ... The gimmicks are superfluous. Lamb did not need them to reminisce about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s.
RaveThe Minneapolis Star TribuneHiaasen runs wild in a hilarious tale ... Hiaasen's love-hate relationship with his stamping grounds plays out richly ... With equal facility, Hiaasen captures the culture of the Florida Keys and cable television, using his signature hyperbole. He nails dialogue from recalcitrant rednecks and greedy gangsters. Still, his greatest gift comes in offering just enough humanity in his most loathsome actors to keep black humor from sliding into cynicism.