Strictly For Lovers of the Naive and Sentimental

I was a fan of le Carré for decades. I read every one of his novels, from “Call for the Dead” to “A Small Town in Germany” and on forward.  He was my favorite author and I’d often buy the … Continue reading

Being Your Resume

The Orphan Master’s Son is a grim book with a high gross-out factor, so if you don’t tolerate torture and gore well, it wouldn’t be for you. But if you enjoy the creativity of trying to depict sheer horror, it’s … Continue reading

Stegner’s Curmudgeon

In Wallace Stegner’s The Spectator Bird, Joe Allston, ex-New York literary agent, has retired to a quiet suburban life in Palo Alto in the 1970’s. One day he gets an innocuous postcard from an acquaintance Denmark he and his wife met … Continue reading

Hard-Boiled Entertainment

This is my second Murakami experience and it was a good one. I read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and found it relentlessly inventive but not much else. Hard-Boiled, however, has plenty of chewy meat beneath the author’s famous razzle-dazzle style. The … Continue reading

Woolf in the Lighthouse!

To the Lighthouse is a novelistic exploration of individual consciousness and of relationships in the interwar period in Britain. Woolf uses a stream of consciousness technique to tell us what characters are thinking and feeling. The narrator promiscuously jumps from … Continue reading

Southern Gothic Thriller

This mid-century, noirish psychological thriller has something in common with The Maltese Falcon. Both stories feature a classic “MacGuffin,” an arbitrary object of desire that all parties seek, pursuit of which drives the action of the story. The tale also … Continue reading

Just What I Always Wanted!

Interesting writing kept the pages turning for me. Nguyen has a knack for unexpected description and creative simile. A random example: Two men are talking but notice the chairs: “As usual, he reclined in an overstuffed leather club chair that … Continue reading