PositiveLibrary JournalTheroux’s fiction searches for hope in the most oppressive environments ... This intriguing new work from Theroux plunges readers into a dystopian North Korea and extracts the emotional complexity of a single life intended to be lived as a secondary character within its state ideology.
RaveLibrary JournalBanville’s writing has always played with this notion, with characters constantly grappling to understand the complexity of knowing oneself ... Banville’s poetical fiction explores the implications of the theory of singularity through the human perception of memory, loss, and guilt, even as he slyly braids together characters and themes from his past novels into a meta-narrative about the haunting implications of parallel universes.
PositiveLibrary JournalThough Isacoff leaves the advent of modern musical forms (rap, rock) to other musicologists, he seamlessly contextualizes their evolution through performers such as James Reese Europe and Philippa Schuyler—uncompromising artists who challenged both musical and societal expectations...Much like Isacoff’s previous books, this is a sprawling narrative, intertwining history, politics, and musical biography, that’s as entertaining as it is informative...Whether readers are dedicated musicologists or casual fans, they’ll enjoy this thought-provoking dive into the history of Western music.
RaveLibrary JournalOnce again, Brooks probes our understanding of history to reveal the power structures that create both the facts and the fiction ... Brooks has penned a clever and richly detailed novel about how we commodify, commemorate, and quantify winning in the United States, all through the lens of horse racing. Highly recommended.
RaveLibrary JournalFranzen pens complex, densely layered characters with backstories that require the narrative to jump backward and forward in time, with America’s heartland functioning as a stage upon which the tension between enduring values and societal change is enacted ... Much like Updike, Franzen is keenly aware that human struggle is defined by understanding and acceptance and that it is generational, ideas he admirably captures here.
David Grossman, tr. Jessica Cohen
RaveLibrary JournalA visceral dissection of what we choose to protect and neglect in striving for moral clarity.
MixedLibrary JournalThe author\'s ability to reframe the American dream through the perspective of an immigrant and political refugee is poignant ... Some readers may not find the protagonist\'s internal struggle compelling, but his story is written with heart and hope.
PositiveLibrary JournalArudpragasam’s writing is purposefully dense, intentionally layering tangential stories with minute details to illuminate the interconnectedness of past and present ... Intricately written prose that navigates sorrow, exclusion, and national identity.
RaveLibrary Journal... witty, snarky, subversive, and vast but local ... At once a love letter to the Salt City and a smart and introspective device for illuminating the present through the very recent past, this novel flattens the American desire for self-realization in the face of catastrophe.
PositiveLibrary JournalChoi\'s talent resides in her densely layered prose and her slowing down the pace to draw readers into the inner worlds of her characters. The result is a deeply human tale of intentional mistakes, love and lust, and the search for a clearer vision of one\'s self.
PositiveLibrary JournalFusing elements of creative nonfiction with autoethnography, Francisco Goldman creates the speculative ghost of a parallel life in Francisco Goldberg ... Fans of Goldman’s bibliography will find much to delight in here.
PositiveLibrary JournalWith restrained prose and vivid language, Ishiguro replaces the tired trope of whether computers can think with a complex meditation on whether computational processing can approximate emotion ... Ishiguro\'s latest novel is without resolution but will leave the reader with wonder.
PositiveLibrary JournalKunzru sardonically reminds us that the reconciliation of facts and truth is equally opaque in both fiction and nonfiction.
MixedLibrary JournalBy looping these seemingly disparate narratives across time, Keneally meditates on the unchanged rhythm of human emotion from the Pleistocene to the Holocene epochs. Unfortunately, with the focus squarely on philosophical musings, this novel suffers from a wandering plot and a lack of character development. Keneally’s language ranges from richly descriptive to captivating, but the structure of the book ultimately works against its readability ... Fans of Keneally’s work will find some gems here, but they will have to dig for them.
Edoardo Albinati, Trans. by Antony Shugaar
PositiveLibrary JournalThis is not a tale of moralizing or understanding but more an illumination of the disparate aspects of Italian society that coalesced to produce this brutal form of toxic masculinity ... With its precise language and philosophical diatribes, Albinati\'s novel will draw comparisons to Truman Capote\'s In Cold Blood…though it\'s 900 pages longer.
PositiveLibrary JournalMuch like Brian Van Reet’s Spoils, Waldman’s new work offers a deeply complicated and thought-provoking story about the purposeful obfuscation of truth in service to Western idealism.
MixedLibrary JournalThough the characters feel real, this angle can make them seem like mouthpieces for political movements at times ... An admirable work, this monomyth is dense (maybe sometimes too dense) with Marlantes\'s gift for lyricism and evocative language.
PositiveLibrary JournalCarr\'s debut novel is an impressive literary experiment ... Because chapters rotate between literary forms and time periods, readers may find the narrative structure challenging to follow. However, Carr effectively weaves the stories of his sprawling cast of minor and major figures to underscore the city\'s myriad threads of development ... An ambitious literary debut that occupies a liminal space between alternative history and experimental literature.
MixedLibrary JournalUsing constellations as a framing device, Mason writes each account as its own self-contained myth, but in aggregation the stories form imaginary lines that constitute a pattern ... Classicists and readers familiar with the Metamorphoses will luxuriate in Mason\'s imagination and beautiful language, while those unfamiliar with Mason or Ovid might find this novel of narrative fragments an unreadable work of experimental literary conceit.