RaveThe Globe and Mail (CAN)The book reads like a novel, and an intense one at that ... Doherty closes with a comparison of that era with ours. What has changed for women over 60 years, what remains the same and what is worse? Was all that struggle and angst and creative turmoil for nothing? She doesn\'t think so, and neither do I. I once lived in that distant country, and I\'m grateful to the author of The Equivalents for reminding me that I have no wish to return.
Orhan Pamuk, Trans. by Maureen Freely
RaveThe New York Times...an engrossing feat of tale-spinning … Although it's set in the 1990's and was begun before Sept. 11, Snow is eerily prescient, both in its analyses of fundamentalist attitudes and in the nature of the repression and rage and conspiracies and violence it depicts … In Snow, translated by Maureen Freely, the line between playful farce and gruesome tragedy is very fine … The twists of fate, the plots that double back on themselves, the trickiness, the mysteries that recede as they're approached, the bleak cities, the night prowling, the sense of identity loss, the protagonist in exile — these are vintage Pamuk, but they're also part of the modern literary landscape.
RaveThe New York Review of BooksThe Echo Maker is probably the best Powers novel so far. I say 'probably,' because it’s not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book, and after that it’s a matter of taste. Trying to describe it is a bit like four blind men trying to describe an elephant—which end do you start at, with something so large and multi-limbed? ... The Echo Maker does not initially offer much solace. But it does at length offer some. There’s grace of a sort to be had, in the country of surprise. There’s forgiveness to be at least tried out. There are amends to be made ... The Echo Maker is a grand novel—grand in its reach, grand in its themes, grand in its patterning. That it might sometimes stray over the line into the grandiose is perhaps unavoidable: Powers is not a painter of miniatures. Of the two extremes of American mannerist style, the minimalist or Shaker chair (Dickinson, Hemingway, Carver) and the maximalist or Gilded Age (Whitman, James, Jonathan Safran Foer), Powers inclines toward the latter. He gets his effects by repetition, by a Goldberg Variation–like elaboration of motifs, by cranking up the volume and pulling out all the stops. It all adds up to one enormous oratorio-like brain episode. You stagger out of Powers’s novel happy to find yourself, like Scrooge the morning after, grasping your own bedpost, saying 'There’s no place like home,' and hoping you still have a chance to set things right.
RaveSlateIt's a thoughtful, crafty, and finally very disquieting look at the effects of dehumanization on any group that's subject to it. In Ishiguro's subtle hands, these effects are far from obvious … Ishiguro's tone is perfect: Kathy is intelligent but nothing extraordinary...It's all hideously familiar and gruesomely compelling to anyone who ever kept a teenage diary … What is art for? the characters ask. They connect the question to their own circumstances, but surely they speak for anyone with a connection with the arts: What is art for? … The people in it aren't heroic. The ending is not comforting. Nevertheless, this is a brilliantly executed book by a master craftsman who has chosen a difficult subject: ourselves, seen through a glass, darkly.
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksThe Circle is neither a tract nor an analysis but a novel, and novels always tell the stories of individuals. In genre this novel partakes of the Menippean satire—distinct from social satire in viewing moral defects less as flaws of character than as intellectual perversions … Eggers treats his material with admirable inventiveness and gusto. The plot capers along, the trap doors open underfoot, the language ripples and morphs. Why has he not been headhunted by some corporation specializing in new brand names? Better than reality, some of these, and all too plausible. But don’t look to The Circle for Chekhovian nuance or thoroughly rounded characters with many-layered inwardness: it isn’t ‘literary fiction’ of that kind.