RaveNew York Times Book ReviewThis lyrical novel...often feels like a fairy tale ... Gilliss’s language is an elemental force ... The prose exhibits as little structure as Tuck’s life. Gilliss’s short, artfully titled chapters...sometimes slip effortlessly into something like poetry ... Lungfish reads with a slowly building terror. This way of life is not sustainable ... The book belongs to what could be called a new category of literature — survival parenting ... Only Tuck doesn’t have the tools to claw her way to safer ground, leaving the reader confounded.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewBarry writes with a sustained, manic energy that propels these former losers—at least on the field—into a championship team ... The reason behind all this urgency for victory? Unclear. Or perhaps, what isn’t clear is why the reader should care if these girls get what they want ... In telling her story, Barry takes a not entirely successful risk with point of view. An omniscient narrator speaks for the entire team, so the book is delivered by a collective and confusing \'We.\' There are so many girls, with so many clever names ... Because of Barry’s determination to provide the complete gamut of female teenage experience, the novel lacks an emotional center: a teenage girl to latch on to. To love or hate, or even to root for ... quirky, comic and painstakingly detailed ... It feels wrong to find fault with a book that is so filled with good intentions. But the sheer quantity of clever sentences and wry observations weighs the story down, until the championship game becomes not only anticlimactic, but also strangely beside the point.
Haruki Murakami, Trans. by Philip Gabriel & Ted Goossen
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe stories in Men Without Women are unremittingly sad, and a cold chill permeates the collection ... What is most notable in reading the stories of Men Without Women is how elusive Murakami claims happiness to be ... Instead, Murakami seems to be making a rather simple, if severe, point: life is hard. As he gets older, his male protagonists grow older with him; they never stop wanting or trying or hoping. Sad as the stories in Men Without Women are, they are beautiful and strange, tinged with hope, hope that even the dead are at peace, under the same moon, listening to the music that they love.