Is The Search Still Relevant? Percy, Walker (1960). The Moviegoer; New York: Knopf This American existentialist story is set after the Korean war, in the 1950’s. As with many post-war novels (The Sheltering Sky, The Stranger, etc.) it asks what meaning … Continue reading
Impressions of Horror Saterstrom, Selah (2004). The Pink Institution. St. Paul, MN: Coffee House Press. This experimental novel features four generations of Mississippi females from 1940 to the early 2000’s. They are shown in a set of impressions, poems, quotations … Continue reading
How-to for Beginners Frey, James N. (1987). How to Write a Damn Good Novel. New York: St. Martin’s Press.I’m cautious about any how-to book that bills itself as “no-nonsense,” implying that comparable books are full of nonsense. In fact this … Continue reading
Haunting Characters In Search of a Story Duras, Marguerite (1985). The Lover. New York: Random. In Saigon, before the Vietnam war, an impoverished, naive, adolescent French girl acquires an older Chinese lover. Her family is struggling with subsistence, and he … Continue reading
A Slog Through Marital Muck Hadley, Tessa (2011). The London Train. New York: Harper Collins. Nothing happens in this family drama about strained marriages and estranged children, unless you think those kind of events count as “something happening.” Seems like … Continue reading
Disgusting Morals Adams, W. A. (2012). True or False: Incest is Disgusting, Therefore Immoral. [Review of the book, Yuck! The Nature of Disgust and its Moral Significance]. PsycCRITIQUES – Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, January 18, 2012 (57) Release … Continue reading
Literary Mind Games Borges, Jorge Luis (1962). Ficciones. New York: Grove.This collection of seventeen stories in English is a good introduction to the involuted mind of Borges. The stories revel in paradox and self-reference; they dwell on infinities and recursions, … Continue reading
What Is Western Writing? Jaffe, Marc (Ed.) (2007). Best Stories of the American West: Volume I. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. These twenty stories are set in the western U.S. and usually involve horses, cows, or Indians. The writers include … Continue reading
An Early Sensitive Psychopath Fowles, John. (1963). The Collector. New York: Back Bay/Little Brown. This novel is often compared to Lolita because it involves an older man’s sexual obsession with a young girl, but the comparison is not apt. First, … Continue reading
Everybody and their dog is a book reviewer these days. I review the books I read because it helps me to understand and remember what I read.
Read a few of my reviews. If you like the kind of books I like, you’ll have a collection of good books to put on your list.
A book review is an opinion but I try to give reasons for my opinions so you can judge if I’m being fair. I usually don’t review books I didn’t like, because life is too short. So even when I’m critical of a book, if it’s on this list, it’s worthy of your attention.