RaveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Tresniowski shows us through brisk and cinematic writing the horror confronted by Marie’s parents ... I admit that, at this point, I wondered how Mr. Tresniowski would conjoin the stories of Williams and Wells, which occurred several decades apart. Was it a bit of a literary feint? A marketing nod to the issues of race and policing currently wracking our country? And yet the stories are so vividly told, so filled with velocity, I thought: Who cares? We’re watching heroes and villains change history; let’s see how they do it ... That the “link” between Wells and Schindler is slight—a small donation from the NAACP to Williams’s defense fund—turns out not to matter. Each makes the other’s dedication shine more brightly. And while Mr. Tresniowski notes that up to now Wells and Schindler \'are not linked in any textbooks, or in any telling of the crime and its aftermath,\' with the publication of The Rope they are. I think they would have appreciated each other.
MixedNewsdayThere is certainly cause to show the reader the indignity of wiping pubic hair from the underside of a toilet seat, and a little of this might go a long way in summoning compassion (or the \'Ew!\' factor). But Land’s complaints about the work go on for nearly the length of the book ... the hero’s journey benefits from more than innumerable variations on laments ... Land may be living on one side of the divide while trying to get to the other — she badly wants to become a writer and writes during the margins of time she has available — but her method of calling close attention to personal affronts can grown wearying ... while one is glad she’s gotten to the other side of the divide, one wishes for a broader vista along the way.
RaveNewsdayThis time, (Winik) tells the stories of 60-plus people (and one dog and one goldfish) she has for the most part loved, all of whom she has lost ... Spending time with dead people might make you wonder: Do I want to take this trip? You do, when Winik is telling the stories, two-page hits that read like flash nonfiction, highlight reels of what these people have meant to her, and sometimes to American culture, over the past 60 years.
Radley Balko & Tucker Carrington
RaveThe Wall Street Journal\"...a superb work of investigative reporting ... Messrs. Balko and Carrington combine expertise, industry and outrage into a searing narrative. And while one unreservedly hopes that The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist will spur reform in Mississippi’s system of justice, there is reason to doubt it will.\
RaveNewsdayA fascinating if at times disturbing chronicle of how 15 prodigies came to the world’s attention — and at what cost. Hulbert disabuses readers of the romantic notion that prodigies are born and not made, introducing us to the cast of supporting characters that push the child’s star … Hulbert shows how often the prodigy serves as surrogate for adult ambition, as well as a symbol for what the culture deemed of value at the time … Hulbert...makes clear, in this nuanced and meticulous book, that when it comes to the prodigy’s gift, the peril is indivisible from the glory.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"The result is saga and social science both, a riveting exploration of the codes of conduct by which men are meant to comport themselves, the lengths to which we go to forge identity, and how far the stories we tell can be stretched before they become prisons of our own making … Mr. Blum chronicles the cost of clinging to untenable truths. Norm’s insistence on seeing Alex as a victim turned the uncle he has known as ‘a looming grin machine’ into a broken man on the verge of bankruptcy … If Mr. Blum begins as the odd piece in the family puzzle, his precise, exhaustive and sympathetic work proves both deeply salutary and in step with the logistician’s mind.\
RaveThe Portland OregonianIf you are Katherine Boo, the author of the exceptional Behind the Beautiful Forevers, you also have the compassion and steel to spend three years writing about residents of a Mumbai slum, and to do so without appearing to blink ... The interconnectedness of inhabitants to one another is at once inescapable and fragile, the things that keep people together as easily as killing them ... Boo, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a staff writer for The New Yorker, is surpassingly good at slipping inside the skins of those she chronicles. She does this by way of an exquisite ear... With Behind the Beautiful Forevers, her first book, Boo puts herself on the podium with the best writers of the genre, Krakauer and Orlean, Langewiesche and Larson.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalA very entertaining book by Douglas Preston, who must be lauded both for having survived the expedition and for having chronicled its thrills and trials in under a year ... Mr. Preston knows a good character when he sees one, and Mr. Elkins’s obsession goes some way toward propelling the story. For sheer star power, however, he cannot beat Bruce Heinicke. Loud, profane, partial to Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned to make way for a gargantuan gut, Mr. Heinicke works as a fixer of sorts in Honduras ... Mr. Preston’s writing is breezy, colloquial and sometimes very funny...But he can also be sober, as when he talks about the Old World diseases that the Spanish brought to the New World.
PositiveNewsday[Toobin] lays out an excellent case for Hearst as the ultimate opportunist — or a young woman so morally pliant she bent whichever way the wind blew ... American Heiress gives us the characters and discord of the time ... [Toobin's] will be the last word, at least for now.
Justine van der Leun
RaveNewsdayVan der Leun stays with the story, all of it, and crafts a narrative both fuller and more intimate than the one the world was told. She takes nothing away from Amy, whose murder was horrific. But she impresses upon the reader that no one life or death is worth more than another. For this, and for writing a masterpiece of reported non fiction, she deserves our plaudits and our awe.
PositiveNewsdayOstensibly about the New York restaurant scene and the carnal pleasures of food — there are oysters sliding down throats, and the smell of fall apples, and the smoke and sting of booze going down (and coming back up) — the novel is actually concerned with appetite, the strategies Tess employs to satisfy it, those she consumes and decimates along the way...Danler can be a brilliant observer of the city; she can make dialogue snap; she is unafraid to give us a protagonist whose drive can be monstrous. But what is it that Tess wants?
PositiveNewsdayMore than 300 years later we are still examining the wounds, which Schiff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra and an indefatigable researcher, offers in compulsively readable form.