PositiveLitReactorProbably the best way for me to describe Lincoln in the Bardo is as melancholy absurdism. It’s a meditation on loss, the preciousness of life (and the absolute ridiculousness of it), and of how humanity is so unwilling to let go of the dead. The ghosts who occupy Lincoln in the Bardo aren’t the ones who are holding desperately onto life (and if they are, it is because they are in denial that they’re even dead). It is, instead, the living who are held fast by their former loved ones, even if said loved ones rarely, if ever, come to visit their graves. Much like Saunders' satirical forefathers, Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon, you either love or hate him with very little middle ground in-between. For longtime fans of Saunders, Bardo’s stylistic, absurd prose is a cause for celebration. For the less adventurous types who need their art spoon fed to them, or don’t want to be intellectually challenged while reading, just go ahead and skip this one. For everyone else, Lincoln in the Bardo may not be what you would describe as a read-in-one-sitting kind of novel, but it will stick with you long after you've finished it.
PositiveLitReactorYes, the language was beautiful, captivating even. But what was the point of the story? And, of course, I would ask myself, does there have to be a point? Can’t a story just be about the language, the imagery, and the raw emotional power it evokes? But you have to know all of this walking into Intimations. You have to know that you’re going to be reading a very interesting and challenging author, and like most challenging, impressionistic fiction, it’s not going to be for everyone. But for those willing to take the trip, this collection is going to be well worth your time.
PanLitReactorI found it distasteful, intellectually insulting, and its prose painfully cringe worthy. The plot is ludicrous, the characters are intensely unlikable, and while I find the idea of writing from an unborn, 30-week-old-baby’s perspective to be an interesting exercise, that’s all it should be, an exercise. It should be something you have tucked away in a notebook never to be seen by anyone else’s eyes but your own.
PositiveLitReactor...a powerfully written and fast moving novel that combines a terrifying home invasion thriller with a heavy supernatural vibe. Rise The Dark’s antagonist, Garland Webb, is an intensely creepy, Manson like character, but isn’t so gonzo that he seems like a pastiche of the infamous cult leader. Webb is starkly believable and his dark, messianic presence drives the entire novel. But what I liked most about Rise The Dark is the same thing I like about most King novels, it’s just a flat out fun read.
RaveLitReactor...[a] slickly written psychological thriller ... Abbott—as usual— is a consummate noirist. She plunges the reader headlong, deeper and deeper down a spiraling rabbit hole that is actually an ever growing pit of despair and deception that originally appeared to be nothing more than an innocent looking, slightly run down, single family suburban home ... Simply put, You Will Know Me is THE must read novel of the summer, and perhaps of all of 2016.
RaveLit ReactorZero K has all of the hallmarks of a typical DeLillo novel: The emotionally bruised, utterly detached characters, the steely, oddly poetic descriptions of both architecture and his character’s interpersonal relationships. What sets Zero K apart is that it’s plot driven and will probably be the closest DeLillo will ever come to writing genre fiction. It’s a true return to form. Zero K is thematically epic in the same way as White Noise, Mao II, and Underworld, and like those essential tomes in the DeLillo Oeuvre, Zero K will most definitely be held up as one of his finest novels.
PositiveLitReactorThe essays in Violation are all lushly written and teeming with memory and insight. Tisdale is a master at her craft and all of these pieces represent the very best of her work. Now, I will be blunt and say that I found Tisdale’s style to be a bit too formal at times, so it wasn’t exactly a hard charging read for me ... More or less, you’re not going to read Violation in one sitting, but its meditative and ruminative passages will keep you turning pages until the book almost feels like an old friend.