RaveEntertainment WeeklyKeefe has a way of making the inaccessible incredibly digestible, of morphing complex stories into page-turning thrillers, and he\'s done it again ... a scathing—but meticulously reported—takedown of the extended family behind OxyContin, widely believed to be at the root cause of our nation\'s opioid crisis. It\'s equal parts juicy society gossip (the Sackler name has been plastered across museums and foundations in New York and London, they attend society events with the likes of Michael Bloomberg) and historical record of how they built their dynasty and eventually pushed Oxy onto the market. It\'s not likely to flip-flop anyone\'s opinion over who is to blame for the addiction epidemic: If you\'ve made it this far with your belief of the Sacklers\' innocence intact, there\'s likely nothing that can be said to sway you. But for the rest of the reading public, it lives out every promise inherent in the word exposé ... there\'s a chance that fans of his may feel less closure than they hoped for after reading Empire. But what he has done is provide a record of this disaster and a terrific starting ground for other journalists and authors who\'d like to pick up the torch (he also does break plenty of news, releasing WhatsApp conversations and emails between Sacklers that show the family members portraying themselves as victims of an anti-OxyContin news cycle, among other items).
PositiveEntertainment Weekly... while the book affords the reader a harrowing play-by-play of his descent into depravity, that isn\'t what shocks the system the most. Instead, it\'s the ability to gaze (and, occasionally, gawk) inside the beating heart of the Biden family ... He opens the book with the death of his brother, Beau — his absence haunts most of the book. He describes him as \'the best friend I\'ve ever had and the person I loved most in the world,\' and the details he offers of their childhood bond and the way it ruled their final days and weeks together are Beautiful Things\' strongest ... The result is, purposeful or not, a portrait of our current President as the ultimate Patriarch. The family, and Joe specifically, seems to command a loyalty and a devotion that feels extreme — but Succession this is not. Maybe you noticed during the election or inauguration, but this family is eerily close (pity the only child who reads this memoir) ... As open as Biden is with his losses, he\'s guarded about other elements ... The section that addresses his work for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of Donald Trump\'s first impeachment, feels more like an op-ed or even a script prepared for an interview. You can almost hear the conversation with a political strategist (what are we going to say about Ukraine?). The testimony feels truthful — it isn\'t exactly spin — but also out of place in what is otherwise a grief memoir. Biden never needed to answer for everything in one book. The same issue afflicts the third act, when Biden ties his four-year-plus long addiction spiral up with a recovery narrative ... Biden\'s descriptions of and reflections on his time of active addiction are harrowing, raw, and quite generously honest, and he doesn\'t offer that for his proclaimed happy ending. He doesn\'t owe us the world, but as readers, we\'re left to piece things together ... was written after the elder Biden\'s intentions to pursue the presidency were clear, and even though it releases well after any potential impact on a campaign, it\'s hard not to see the book\'s intentions as an endorsement of the Biden ethos .. For a man who claims no political ambitions, Hunter Biden sure knows how to show off a platform of decency.
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyIn the weeks preceding the 2017 inauguration, a politically progressive twentysomething digital writer breaks into her boyfriend\'s phone because she suspects he\'s cheating. The truth is even worse: He\'s leading a double life as an influential online right-wing conspiracy theorist. That premise alone carries enough intrigue to span an entire novel\'s worth of plot, but Fake Accounts doesn\'t stop there ... offering up an inner monologue full of brilliantly astute cultural criticisms. The premise may sound dark, but Lauren Oyler\'s delightfully wry, sharply observational prose turns the protagonist\'s pity party into a lively affair.
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyThere\'s a certain kind of reader who will be able to drum up wholehearted enthusiasm for every last paragraph of Barack Obama\'s new memoir. They\'re the person who can offer a succinct definition of \'policy wonk,\' or who reads Politico Playbook every morning (all the way down to the birthday listings), or who was a fan of Steve Kornacki years before he showed up, khaki-clad, in front of that miracle board on election night ... For the remaining readers, you might find that, say, 77 percent of this book is \'for you.\' It\'s a 706-page book if you count the acknowledgements — you should definitely read the acknowledgements — and just for reference on the breadth and pace, by the final paragraph it\'s the spring of 2011. President Obama is nothing if not detailed, and by his own account he wrote this book with an eye for context, never wanting to tell us about a difficult decision he once made or a bill he passed without first helping us understand the history. He is self-aware enough that he realized, in writing, that he would need two volumes to do this right, and apprises (warns?) us of that in the foreword. But trust that you\'ll be glad for all of it.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly\"Cool, dark, and pretty as a clear night sky, Lightness delivers a coming-of-age suspense tale that starts out familiar—ominous warnings, unreliable narration—before forging its own path ... Attempts at flourish (dictionary definitions, theological musings) break the prose’s flow, but they’re also playful—further proof that Temple is just getting started.\
MixedEntertainment WeeklyIf a murder mystery sounds far too straightforward for a writer as masterfully strange as Ottessa Moshfegh...it is; what Death delivers instead is a sort of fractured portrait of madness, a woman slowly unraveling in the corners of her own mind. Without stakes in any real world outcome, though, it’s hard not to feel cornered, too; caught up in an intellectual exercise unworthy of Moshfegh’s prodigious talents ... B-[.]
William J. Mann
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyMarlon Brando reigned over Hollywood in an era before it was possible to know every little thing about an actor’s life — but this biography is going to change that. Mann went through Brando’s personal archives to craft a story that covers not only his behind-the-scenes persona but the way in which he led the charge for a merging of Hollywood and protest culture.
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyThis darkly funny book vies to answer the age-old question \'Just how huge is our collective appetite for tales of male novelists behaving badly?\' Dermansky uproariously follows a Great Literary Man as he’s seduced by his college pupil — and her recently divorced mother— against the backdrop of a wealthy Connecticut enclave.