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Articles tagged with: Fiction Review

Boy, Interrupted

September 1st, 2015
Boy, Interrupted

For the protagonist of Jim Shepard’s heartbreaking novel The Book of Aron it is terrible to be a poor Jew in anti-Semitic prewar Poland – but it is hardest of all to be a child, at the mercy of everyone else.

“Cambridge should come to us”

December 1st, 2014
“Cambridge should come to us”

“Our belief in Literature has collapsed” Lars Iyer once wrote, but his new novel Wittgenstein Jr, the story of a passionate philosophy professor and his apathetic students, bristles with literary faith.

It’s a Mystery: “There is within every man and woman a core of evil only lightly held in check”

July 1st, 2013
It’s a Mystery: “There is within every man and woman a core of evil only lightly held in check”

An auspicious debut, The Abomination is a riveting conspiracy thriller by Jonathan
Holt. Plus, Philip Kerr’s cheeky, charismatic Berlin cop Bernie Gunther is back in A Man Without Breath.

It’s a Mystery: “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one”

June 1st, 2013
It’s a Mystery:  “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one”

John le Carré, the pre-eminent spy writer of the 20th century and beyond, dazzles us again with A Delicate Truth. Plus a debut addition to the ranks of the genre, Red Sparrow, might just earn the author Jason Matthews a pat on the back from the master.

It’s a Mystery: “Life is what happens to ‘trust no one’”

January 1st, 2013
It’s a Mystery: “Life is what happens to ‘trust no one’”

Dan Fesperman’s The Double Game is a complex literary novel of intrigue that makes spy fiction a central character, “doubling” the reading pleasure.

Performance Anxiety

November 1st, 2012
Performance Anxiety

What does it mean to say “only the music matters?” In her bleakly intelligent new novel, Lynne Sharon Schwartz challenges us to consider what we really value in music and how our own demand for superhuman perfection strips it of its soul.

It’s a Mystery: “The only way a man learns the true spirit of a rock is to stub his toe on it”

November 1st, 2012
It’s a Mystery: “The only way a man learns the true spirit of a rock is to stub his toe on it”

William Kent Krueger and Steve Hamilton, authors of two critically acclaimed series, have winning new detective novels. Irma Heldman reviews.

The Least Inauthentic Self

November 1st, 2012
The Least Inauthentic Self

How can writers depict the fragmented modern soul? For Zadie Smith, the solution is an untidy, fragmented novel. M.K. Hall reviews NW

Claiming the Future

October 1st, 2012
Claiming the Future

Julio Cortázar and Gabriel Garcia Marquez brought Latin American fiction to the attention of the world. Now a young crop of writers are trying to move beyond magical realism–a new anthology charts the diverse approaches.

It’s a Mystery: “No one is infallible or invisible”

September 1st, 2012

A rare film is the centerpiece of Syndrome E, a cutting-edge, mesmerizing thriller.

It’s a Mystery: “Every man has his price”

August 1st, 2012

Two scalpel-sharp political thrillers that mark the welcome return of the thoroughly winning, charismatic protagonists: Charlie Muffin and Joe DeMarco.

It’s a Mystery: “A good detective assumes nothing”

July 1st, 2012

Cop to Corpse, the 12th in Peter Lovesey’s Detective Supt. Peter
Diamond series, finds the master at the top of his form.

Second Glance: Seth Morgan and the Kamikaze Novel

April 1st, 2012

With its headspinning wordplay and lunatic cast of characters, Seth Morgan’s 1990 novel Homeboy blazed like a comet into the literary pantheon. Steve Danziger revisits this grime crime classic.

It’s a Mystery: “The world is a great honeycombed thing”

April 1st, 2012

In Nick Harkaway’s altogether remarkable novel Angelmaker, blistering gangster noir meets Rabelaisian comedy

Humanitarian Disaster Romance

April 1st, 2012

In The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson evokes the brutality of North Korea’s authoritarian regime by way of an over-the-top love story. Joyce W. Lee investigates whether torture and romance can coexist in one novel.

A Fine Romance

February 1st, 2012

Is there more to romance fiction than perfect people meeting cute and living happily ever after? Sarah Wendell thinks so, but her arguments in defense of this most reviled of genres may themselves sell it short.

Devil Twins

January 1st, 2012

Is Don DeLillo’s short game as good as his long? Is it better? His first collection of short fiction — or is it his first? — offers occasion to take the much-lauded writer’s measure.

Desultory Vivacity

November 1st, 2011

Does marriage mean much anymore? Does the novel? Jeffrey Eugenides sets out to reinvent the classic literary story—but can he combine the style and the substance of the greats he hopes to update to our times?

A Crucible of the Human Spirit Guy

October 1st, 2011

Ben Lerner’s arresting first novel sets a funhouse mirror before the author’s own formative years as a poet, poseur, and pill-popper in Madrid.

The Birth of a Salesman

October 1st, 2011

Eleven years after her breakout novel The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt returns to satirize the chattering nonsense of the corporate world.

Three for the Boys

September 1st, 2011

Newly released in paperback are three Young Adult novels aimed at that sometimes-elusive reading demographic: teen boys.

A Jester During the Third Reich

August 1st, 2011

Irmgard Keun depicted exceptionally naive women and seemed even to play the the role herself, even suing The Gestapo for banning her books. But was there a strategy behind playing dumb?

Sorokin’s Tyrannical Chosen

July 1st, 2011

Vladimir Sorokin’s gruesome (and frequently censored) satires puncture Russia’s surprising nostalgia for the glory days of Stalin and Khrushchev; Amelia Glaser reviews two newly released works.