RaveThe Star TribuneEven if we don\'t always like Dara, who has internalized the worst of her mother\'s ideas, we sympathize with her desire to discover the truth and free herself from her mother\'s legacy ... Because Derek\'s such a buffoon, it\'s fun to watch the ease with which he gets the best of Dara. Brash, vulgar, leery, he\'s a comic villain—until it seems he might not be the villain ... a slow burn. After a long wait, when violence comes, it seems that much more arresting. Were Abbott not so accomplished, we might tire of reading before the stakes become clear. But from the first page to the reveal at the end, a palpable sense of menace and the sympathy we feel for Dara as her world unravels make it impossible to look away.
Horacio Castellanos Moya
PositiveThe RumpusDeceptively brisk, and narrated in claustrophobic prose, the novel serves as a devastating corrective to the romanticism the \'Bolaño myth celebrates. Packed with poisonous observations about the hypocrisy of players on both ends of the political spectrum, it’s a slender tour-de-force: a rich, complex, beautifully crafted act of ventriloquism whose brevity belies its range ... each step forward occasions a leap back into its protagonist’s history, so the action becomes psychological ... Readers who prefer discrete scenes and a clear sense of advancing action might find themselves bogging down in Castellanos Moya’s prose ... Yet the manic intensity of Castellanos Moya’s prose yields the same pleasure as Thomas Bernhard’s, a clear influence...and the shift at the end of the narrative recalls the shift at the end of Imre Kertész’s Kaddish for a Child Not Born.
PositiveThe RumpusBetween the World and Me is a chronicle of a historical moment and a text that deserves the place it will hopefully find in the canon of writing about fatherhood, filial love, and race in the United States ... By no means is Between the World and Me a perfect book. Yet Ta-Nehisi Coates shares James Baldwin’s capacity to look into the maw of history and recognize the human, and that makes Between the World and Me worthy of Baldwin’s legacy.