RaveInsideHook... terrific ... [Wiener\'s] prose is sharp and memorable — I found myself underlining sentences in every chapter — and the subject matter is timely ... Wiener highlights the strangeness of the tech companies that run our lives by avoiding naming them...It’s a move that lets Uncanny Valley feel less trapped in time, but it also highlights the absurdity of modern life.
PositiveBook PostThe plot is a little thin for novel’s length, but what holds it together is the thematic link between the literal surveillance of activist groups by the government and the interpersonal surveillance that the characters—and by extension all of us—do daily. Crain’s eye is especially attuned to the inner movements of the human heart and the way in which we all constantly size each other up and try to explain our actions ... reads more like a nineteenth-century social novel: Henry James at Occupy Wall Street ... Crain’s slow pace and intricate descriptions of the interactions of his group give the novel the space for these insights to bloom ... In a time when it’s said that social media algorithms can predict your decisions more accurately than your intimates, Caleb Crain might provide the sort of narrative we need. In the face of such encroachments, perhaps reasserting our irreducible humanity is the most radical thing we can do.
Samanta Schweblin, Trans. by Megan McDowell
PositiveBOMB\"These twenty stories are polished and precise, but they are less sparkling gems than hunks of amber showcasing the bizarre insects trapped inside ... No matter how strange Schweblin gets, her stories are always gripping thanks to her understanding of tension ... Mouthful of Birds is like a drawer filled with strange, bizarre, and unsettling objects. If you are drawn to the dark and the weird, these are excellent stories to both make you think and keep you up at night.\
PositiveChicago Review of BooksOttessa Moshfegh’s oeuvre reads almost like an attempt to see just how \'unlikeable\' characters can get. To be clear, I mean that as a compliment ... While plot is not the primary driver of a novel like My Year of Rest and Relaxation, the story does spin its wheels a bit in the middle ... About halfway through the novel, the scattered references to time make you realize the novel is building towards 9/11. This is a bold move for a book about being detached from everything, but without spoiling the ending, I’ll say it delivers ... My Year of Rest and Relaxation has more stripped-down prose than some of Moshfegh’s other work, though Moshfegh still delights in lyrical beauty even when describing the ugly.
RaveBOMBThe Changeling is less about the story than the sentences, which are, in this reviewer’s estimation, enchanting. Not everyone agrees. In his infamous review, Broyard spent much of his time quoting sentences and calling them impenetrable. Your appreciation of The Changeling will depend on if you find appealing sentences such as (to pick two of Broyard’s targets), \'Oh to bring back the days when stars spoke at the mouths of caves,\' and \'She was young but some day she would be covered with ants.\' The great witchcraft of The Changeling’s prose is not in the individual phrase, but in the movement of its sentences. What makes Williams’s style so hard to pin down is her ability to shift register, style, and mood on a dime ... Throughout the novel, her sentences seem to absorb everything—darkness and humor, myth and mundanity, irony and pathos—and fuse them together by some strange alchemy. The Changeling is a novel where everything is shifting from the events to the language ... The Changeling remains Williams’s fullest plunge into the uncanny and the magical. Give it a try. Let it cast its spell on you.
RaveBOMB\"...five stories, most of them longer than thirty pages, that span a range of characters and situations, yet are unified by the aspect of Johnson’s work that towers over the rest: his voice. My god, that voice. Johnson somehow manages to be both conversational and poetic, simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious ... Like any Denis Johnson work, each page of this collection is peppered with one or two tremendous lines that reach out to grab your heart ... Johnson has an astonishing power to turn from one emotion to another in a line or two. His transitions between stories, sections, and paragraphs are worth the study of every aspiring fiction writer ... The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is yet another terrific book of heart, humanity, and humor. Read and treasure it. It is a final gift from a master.\
Osama Alomar, Trans. by C. J. Collins
RaveThe New York TimesIf Kafka had rewritten Aesop’s fables, the result might have looked like this thought-provoking new collection of literary allegories and aphorisms ... Timely and timeless, The Teeth of the Comb is a masterly collection by an urgent literary voice.