RaveThe New York Journal of Books... wonderfully sophisticated and beautifully conceived ... the exceptionally talented Gosling does what many new authors cant: She skillfully navigates several interconnecting timelines in an already multifaceted and complex story. This can be problematic for even the most successful and seasoned novelists, but Gosling handles this obstacle with a unique and clever touch that is quite refreshing ... although the plotline seems on the surface to lean on cliché and familiar literary images, the narrative overcomes these formulaic weaknesses with a sophisticated tale of devotion and loss, and the power of, and corruption of memory that is compelling and poignant ... Overall, Before the Ruins retains an air of originality that is missing from many current novels, and Gosling most certainly intended to overlap genres that include coming of age, mystery, and contemplative observational examination. She stealthily avoids the trickery of imitation and generalization, producing a captivating and thought-provoking novel that allows the reader to ponder the frailties and weaknesses that are ever-present and inherent in our human nature.
Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... [a] wildly entertaining and informative investigation ... Spiro Agnew was crooked long before he arrived in Washington, and the history of his efforts to cover-up his wrongdoings make a fascinating tale. Maddow and Yarvitz are wonderful storytellers and capably engage the reader by expanding on her podcast with even more details and expert analysis of Agnew\'s numerous criminalities. Most notably, they convey the scandal’s lasting impact on American politics and the media. Bag Man is a thoroughly consuming reexamination of one of the most shameful scandals of American political history.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books[Herman] does a remarkable job of psychologically profiling and detailing the many sex scandals that have dogged nearly a dozen men who have held our nation’s highest office, as well as other high-profile politicians ... In this fascinatingly humorous and surprisingly illuminating book, Herman does a terrific job of psychologically profiling and re-examining the sex scandals that shook the White House and the nation. She does a thorough and exceptional job of answering several tantalizingly provocative questions: What is sex like with a president? Does charisma, passion and zest for power make it better than average? Does a strong sex drive has any relevance to political success or failure? And does rampant adultery show a lack of character needed to run the country? ... a delightfully shocking read, and like with her previous books on sex with powerful people, Herman maintains both her sense of humor and commitment to research. With loads of spicy tidbits that include riveting insight into the past, Herman brings sympathy and kindness to those who deserve understanding, explaining that it isn’t easy to stand next to a person in power who displays despicable behavior while keeping your head held high.
RaveNew York Journal of BooksThe Deep by Alma Katsu is a captivating novel that chillingly blurs the lines between mystery, horror, and historical fiction ... Set in the suffocating confines of the doomed ocean liners Titanic and Britannic, the story does an amazing job of interconnecting the plotlines of the sinking vessels. The reader is easily transported back in time in this sweeping story of love and revenge ... The Deep is an incredibly researched and compelling psychological thriller. It delivers the essential emotions that the retelling of catastrophes of this magnitude require as well as a creepy and dynamic twist that feel entirely unexpected. Katsu has easily succeeded in capturing the cold, primeval feeling of looming peril and the terrible panic that must have gripped the passengers of the two ill-fated ships.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... an alluring psychological legal thriller that is jammed packed with layers of emotionally charged sexual revelations and suspense ... Most of the characters are likable and there is something about each that is relatable ... an intelligently written suspense filled thriller that is loaded with tantalizing tidbits of information that keep the reader guessing to the very end. McCreight does an exceptional job of releasing just the right amount of information about certain characters at just the right moment to keep the reader involved. This tactic of intentional deception works marvelously by widening the scope of suspects to the crime. And unlike many other domestic thrillers of the genre which are often filled with cliché storylines, McCreight has created a unique hook that demands attention from start to finish. Her characters are fresh and believable, and the novel is loaded with plenty of twists and turns.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... a touching and exceptionally well-researched fictionalized account of Cassandra Austen’s life, both before and after her famous sister’s death ... In Miss Austen, Gill Hornby has created an exceptionally entertaining addition to the Jane Austen legacy. In this exciting new interpretation of historical fiction, fans of the genre will not be disappointed and undoubtably cheer the opportunity to revisit the grandeur and anguish of the extended Austen family. With poignant intricacy and unique perspective, Hornby gives a voice to and brings to life an extraordinarily charming adaptation of one the most overlooked and most important people in Jane Austen’s life, her older sister Cassandra.
Maja Lunde, trans. by Diane Oatley
RaveNew York Journal of BooksThe End of the Ocean is Maja Lunde’s second foray into adult fiction and is a spellbinding read that focuses on the realities of climate change though the eyes of a father and daughter. ... Chillingly frank in its discussion of our planet’s fragile ecological system and the fight to save our basic natural resources, Lunde’s two superbly written interlinking narratives are emotionally charged and the beautifully expressed underlying message of hope, love and forgiveness helps to soften the ominous realties that could befall humanity if nothing is done to reverse the bleak certainties of climate change.
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksThe Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols is Nicholas Meyer’s third Sherlock Holmes novel and in this highly entertaining murder mystery we are whimsically transported back in time ... Meyer’s expertise with Sherlock Holmes’ exploits are undeniably evident in this newest adaption. He effortlessly combines his screenwriting and storytelling skills into a fresh take on an old-fashioned murder mystery. While the exchanges between Holmes and Watson feel natural, Holmes’ side narrative of sibling rivalry with his older brother is undeniably entertaining ... invigoratingly engaging from start to finish, Nicholas Meyer has yet again created a fresh take on an old genre. The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols is a sure bestseller in which 21st century readers are gloriously transported back to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
A. N. Wilson
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksThe life and times of Prince Albert have been minutely scrutinized in countless biographies. Some have been very well written and others not so well. What makes this one different from all the rest? It’s not really any different, and there aren’t any new earth-shattering tidbits of information. But what Wilson differentiates and excels at is his clear and concise explanation of why Albert is considered by many to be a major influencer of the modernization of British society, as well as the prince’s pivotal role in helping to restore integrity to the crown ... In this comprehensive and well written biography, Wilson has aptly managed to differentiate himself from the well-trodden path of other noted biographers. His deeply moving, well researched, and fittingly appropriate tribute to the enduring legacy of Prince Albert does not disappoint and provides ample reading pleasure for anyone interested in examining British royal life in the 19th century.
RaveThe New York Journal of Books... electrifying ... Within this novel, Prescott manages to cleverly capture the essence of the Cold War era in the West by means of the lifestyle of her main characters and manages to accurately portray the political and sexual attitudes that were prevalent in the workplace of the time period ... While in the East, Prescott does a brilliant job of portraying the sense of paranoia and dread that existed between Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya, a woman who spent several years in a labor camp because of her association with the famous novelist ... a remarkable debut novel and Prescott’s fictionalized interpretation of the Soviet Union’s suppression and the CIA’s covert distribution of Doctor Zhivago is meticulously researched and a sure bestseller. Although the back and forth between timelines was a bit confusing, this fact does not diminish the novel’s powerfully suspenseful nature and sweeping drama. The reader is easily transported back in time to the Cold War era with stylishly written dialogues and loads of intrigue.
RaveNew York Journal of BooksAs someone who’s a strong believer in the healing power of alone time, this book is personal and thought-provoking ... Overall, Alone Time is an excellent blend of intimate, in depth recollections of traveling alone as well as a self-help guide to mindfulness. It is a fascinating, light read and highly recommended for anyone planning on visiting the cities discussed. But be warned there is some repetitiveness in phrasing that is somewhat distracting, but with that aside, the pure joy of reading about these delightful cities negates any pitfalls. Overall, Rosenbloom’s writing style is warm and engaging and will most definitely have readers eager to set off on their own solo travels.
Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake
RaveNew York Journal of BooksBrutally honest but even-handed, Gilot openly describes her often-turbulent life with the volatile genius. Picasso is revealed as brilliant but calculating, a man who despised sentimentality and mostly sought to shock the senses. It is filled with emotional and often surprising disclosures about the man, his work, his thoughts and his contemporaries such as Matisse, Braque, Gertrude Stein and Giacometti, among others. Evocative of the time and full of remarkably detailed commemorations of conversations between Pablo and his famous friends. Gilot provides a brilliant self-portrait of a young woman with enormous talent figuring out who she really wanted to become. She provides a detailed insider\'s view of the great artist at work and delivers a dynamic understanding of his inner thoughts. A captivating and monumental snapshot of a bygone era that still resonates 57 years after its first publication.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksCaz Frear has done it again ... another can’t miss summer hit ... like its predecessor this novel is spellbinding from start to finish. Frear effectively combines a family drama with a captivating psychological mystery, while incorporating effective descriptions of police procedurals. Blend all of that with an unpredictable and intelligently witty storyline and you’ve got a winner ... Cat Kinsella is a strong and feisty woman, who also happens to be an excellent detective. Her character’s sarcastic sense of humor is appealing on so many levels but most importantly her everyday imperfections allow her to stand out because she doesn’t let herself be defined by these shortcomings. This character continues to resonate with readers because of her struggles balancing a dysfunctional personal and family life with career. Although her personal development is less of a focus in this book, that minor fact does not diminish the novel’s appeal. If you haven’t read Sweet Little Lies, it is highly recommended to catch up on all of the happenings and to fully appreciate Kinsella’s multilayered and enchanting character. Efforts like this are rare in fiction publishing today, and Frear has succeeded in this sequel where many writers have failed ... masterfully written, and Caz Frear’s trademark sense of humor shines brightly; add in a character worth cheering for and plenty of mystery and suspense, and you’ve got the recipe for a sure thing bestseller.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksThe Paris Diversion is the second installment in the masterfully crafted Kate Moore series and much like its forerunner it’s jammed with nonstop adventures and electrifying action ... Because the story is told from several viewpoints and given the fact that a few of these are from peripheral characters the casual reader who does not have prior understanding might be confused about their roles ... once these viewpoints are understood the storyline transforms into a read that is appealing, absorbing, and intensely spellbinding. The twists and turns are never predicable, and the heart-pounding tension of The Paris Diversion effortlessly transports the reader through a labyrinth of hypnotic suspense
PositiveNew York Journal of Books\"In this meticulously researched book, Ward reveals that Jared and Ivanka are not just the president’s chief enablers: they, like him, also appear indifferent to the rule of law and basic ethics. Clearly written accounts of the Kushner’s political and personal dealings paint a shocking and realistic image of their alleged corruption, inexperience, and possible criminal activity. For those readers who have a pretty good general knowledge of the endless chaos and confusion surrounding the Trumps and Kushners this expose will not be shocking or surprising. Overall, this book definitely stands out head and shoulders above many of the recent books on the Trump family. It is not just a repeat of the reports of events but is well written account of what actually happened. But be warned if you really want to be creeped out and want a sleepless night, enter the unsavory and often seedy world of \'Javanka\' where ruthlessness, egotism, and pure ignorance run rampant.\
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksA dynamic and spellbinding psychological thriller. It is crammed with edge-of-your-seat suspense and powerful irony ... well-paced, disturbing and anxiety inducing. It is filled with plenty of chills, surprises, desperation, murder and a totally unforeseen ending that will leave you breathless. A hypnotic psychological thriller that you won’t be able to put down.
RaveNew York Journal of BooksTo lay scholars these poems are quite innocuous, but in her revealing new book, Shakespeare and the Resistance, Clare Asquith blows the lid off of the hidden meanings and messages of these works ... captivating and well-written ... Overall, she does an incredible job of reinterpreting two of William Shakespeare’s more neglected but politically explosive works ... Persuasive and meticulously researched, Shakespeare and the Resistance is a must read for anyone interested in the study and interpretation of Shakespearian era politics or literary criticism.
RaveNew York Journal of BooksSweet Little Lies is a mesmerizing psychological murder mystery. An extraordinary debut novel that effectively takes a deep look at how we often struggle to cope with the realities of our darker past ... unforgettable characters and a plotline that is gripping, thought-provoking and genuine ... Frear delivers a captivating story that is filled with multiple layers of complexities that unveils nicely into satisfying and surprising realities. It features an outstanding blend of police procedural and thrilling murder mystery that effortlessly combines interesting characters, exceptional writing and convincing storytelling into a novel that doesn’t disappoint.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksWhile it is assumed that most readers are aware that the Nazis looted art, what isn’t as well known is the theft of other cultural symbols such as musical instruments. Kildea does an excellent job of tracing and attempting to solve the mysteries of what happened to one of these iconic symbols. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject is very apparent and he expertly and effortlessly illustrates how Landowska’s trials and tribulations relates to Chopin’s, a saga which redefined portions of the cultural and political history of mid-20th century. Captivating and intriguing, Chopin’s Piano will most certainly entertain both novice and hardcore music historians.
Joyce Carol Oates
MixedNew York Journal of BooksAlthough the first story starts out nicely, the highly touted \'tales of suspense\' don’t quite live up to the hype and the cohesiveness of the collection just falls flat and uninspiring. The whole assemblage feels extremely voyeuristic as we witness each character in the midst of their routine and mundane lives ... Overall, there’s an oddness to the prose that isn’t easily explained and connecting with the characters is difficult. There wasn’t anything about the stories that was very suspenseful or mysterious. In the end as we traverse the complex labyrinth between purpose and scruples, we’re left with more questions than answers.
Andrea di Robilant
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksIn this methodically researched account of Ernest Hemingway’s obsession with a much younger woman, Robilant draws heavily on previously unpublished letters and journals ... Autumn in Venice effortlessly and expertly explores the secret desires, successes, and depressive obstacles that shrouded Ernest Hemingway’s final productive years.
RaveNew York Journal of BooksGreenblatt’s perceptive analysis and expert examination of the various tyrannical figures in Shakespeare’s works has an eerie parallel and peculiar familiarity to current political trends. Using the central characters of Shakespeare’s plays the author compellingly and captivatingly scrutinizes the conditions that permit the rise of despotic, dictatorial, and high-handed leaders. Through skillful and knowledgeable use of quotes and excerpted passages, he provides a brilliant illustration of how intimidation and strong-arm tactics can suppress any political resistance and why anyone would \'be drawn to a leader manifestly unsuited to govern, someone dangerously impulsive or viciously conniving or indifferent to the truth\' ... Overall, this book is full of surprising and shocking insights that examine character politics and the exploitation of authoritarianism as it pertains to literary criticism. A must read for any student of classic literature, history, and politics.
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books\"In this bizarre novel, Broder fuses existential malaise and destructive love with a heavy dose of sexual fantasy. The characters are remarkably complex, but be warned the storyline is extremely graphic in its sexual portrayals and accounts. The explicit descriptions of these carnal encounters are somewhat disturbing and gratuitous in their titillation ... Broder’s mixture of straightforward bluntness is unsettling at times but curiously compelling. Her use of darkly humorous realism gives true voice to the depiction of those who are battling depression and suicide ... Often unsettling, peculiar, sexually graphic, unapologetically explicit, but fascinatingly gripping.\
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksIn this stimulating and poignant narrative, Kevin Toolis armed with his Irish heritage gives a heart wrenching description of the death and wake of his father as he delves into the broader history, rituals, and meaning of the Irish wake ... With an inspiring and refreshing message at its core, My Father's Wake rejoices in the spiritual depth of the Irish views on mortality. But do not be mistaken, this book’s purpose is not to solve the meaning of life, but it does ask some very challenging questions.