Haddon makes us experience from the boy's point of view as a harrowing adventure, as scary as anything in an action thriller. And it also leads to an unraveling of his own family's past … Christopher emerges as a wonderfully vivid individual.
He never for a moment feels like a generic teenager or a composite portrait of someone with Asperger's syndrome. Donna Tartt. Tartt can now reach, how seamlessly she can combine the immediate and tactile with more wide-angled concerns … Ms. Rave The New York Times A novel that announces the debut of a preternaturally gifted new writer — a writer who at the age of 24 demonstrates both an instinctive storytelling talent and a fully fashioned voice that's street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time … In recounting the story of Archie and Samad's families, she shows not only how one generation often revolts against another — sons against fathers, daughters against mothers — but also how they repeat their predecessors' mistakes, retrace their ancestors' dreams, and in the case of those who are immigrants, commute nervously between the poles of assimilation and nationalism, the embrace of the Other and a repudiation of its temptations … These characters are all players in Ms.
Smith's riotous multicultural drama, living out their stories on her chessboard of postcolonial dreams and frustrations, and yet at the same time, they've been limned with such energy and bemused affection that they possess the quirks and vulnerabilities of friends and neighbors we've known all our lives. Rave The New York Times Some [stories] are heartbreakingly sad; some laugh-out-loud funny; some momentous and tragic; almost all of them resonant or surprising.
They are stories that attest to the startling varieties and travails of human experience, and the shared threads of love, loss, fear and kindness that connect us The stories here, for the most part, have translated seamlessly to the page. Though they are all relatively short — average Moth performances range from five minutes to 12 minutes — most possess a remarkable emotional depth and sincerity Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned 'a winnable race' into 'another iceberg-seeking campaign ship' Omar El Akkad.
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There are considerable flaws in American War — from badly melodramatic dialogue to highly contrived and derivative plot points — but El Akkad has so deftly imagined the world his characters inhabit, and writes with such propulsive verve, that the reader can easily overlook such lapses El Akkad has written a novel that not only maps the harrowing effects of violence on one woman and her family, but also becomes a disturbing parable about the ruinous consequences of war on ordinary civilians.
Positive The New York Times At a remove of more than four decades, she maps the divisions splintering America today, and uncannily anticipates some of the dynamics that led to the election of Donald J. Trump and caught so many political and media insiders unawares Her notes lack the depth and understanding of J. What Didion does capture, powerfully, in this book is the insularity of many places in the South, and, by implication, how insular the elites like herself are in places like California and New York and Washington The other reason that readers will find this volume so fascinating is that it shows Didion at work, as a writer and reporter, gathering details, jotting them down and running her observations through the typewriter of her mind.
Even these hurriedly written notes shine with her trademark ability to capture mood and place.
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Mohsin Hamid. Rave The New York Times Writing in spare, crystalline prose, Hamid conveys the experience of living in a city under siege with sharp, stabbing immediacy. He shows just how swiftly ordinary life — with all its banal rituals and routines — can morph into the defensive crouch of life in a war zone In summary, it might sound perversely counterintuitive of Hamid to use a fairy-tale-like device as a way to move his characters from their war-torn homeland to a new life in the West Hamid, however, is less interested in the physical hardships faced by refugees in their crossings than in the psychology of exile and the haunting costs of loss and dislocation Sam Shepard.
Positive The New York Times Memories of these women — along with memories of acting jobs, travels and childhood exploits — are woven together here, along with dreams, fantasies and Bosch-like hallucinations. The One Inside may be a minor Shepard work, but it provides a sharp-edged distillation of the themes that have preoccupied him throughout his career, and serves as a kind of Rosetta stone to such remarkable plays as Fool for Love , A Lie of the Mind , Buried Child and True West.
Positive The New York Times The supernatural chatter can grow tedious at times — the novel would have benefited immensely from some judicious pruning — but their voices gain emotional momentum as the book progresses. David Sax. Sax provides an insightful and entertaining account of this phenomenon, creating a powerful counternarrative to the techno-utopian belief that we would live in an ever-improving, all-digital world In these pages, Mr. Sax takes us on a spirited tour of the resurgent analog universe. Michael Chabon.
The novel would have benefited from some rigorous editing But the fraying story lines seem to be a deliberate narrative strategy meant to convey the chaos of life and distortions of memory Trevor Noah.
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Rave The New York Times By turns alarming, sad and funny, his book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Smith conjures the electric pulse of the s and s Aimee is a complete celebrity stereotype Elena Ferrante, Trans. Ferrante and her publishers. Elsewhere, she sounds pretentious and self-important Such self-conscious and stilted statements stand in stark contrast to the visceral immediacy of Ms. Peter Ackroyd. Ben Macintyre. Macintyre draws sharp, Dickensian portraits of these men and displays his usual gifts here for creating a cinematic narrative that races along Volker Ullrich.
Affinity Konar. Konar makes the emotional lives of her two spirited narrators piercingly real What is most haunting about the novel is Ms. John le Carre. Nutshell is a small tour de force that showcases all of Mr.
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Roy Scranton. Mixed The New York Times [Scranton has a] keen reportorial eye and [a] Michael Herr-like gift for conveying the surreal feel of modern war Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller. Colson Whitehead.
As in the books, the suspense here is electric and nonstop, and it has been cleverly constructed around developments recalling events in the original Potter novels. Stuart Stevens. Stevens, a veteran of the George W. The problem is that Mr. By far the most interesting parts of this novel are the behind-the-scenes accounts of the tactical and strategic maneuvering of political operatives faced with a contested convention.
Patrick Ryan. Positive The New York Times Some characters pop up in different stories — set years, even decades apart — and together they create a kind of choral portrait of a place, which turns out to be less a real community than a collection of misfits and Isolatoes Ryan is unflinching in depicting their liabilities, he also displays a gift for excavating the dashed hopes and yearnings that lie beneath.
He is especially adept at capturing the point of view of children, with a Salingeresque understanding of their alienation, their vulnerability, their keen powers of observation. Hisham Matar. The prose is precise, economical, chiseled; the narrative elliptical, almost musical, cutting back and forth in time between the near present, Mr. Larry Tye. Tye has a keen gift for narrative storytelling and an ability to depict his subject with almost novelistic emotional detail Kennedy, while at the same time creating a sympathetic portrait of this complex, searching man.
Ocean Vuong. The poems in Mr.
Vuong can create startling images a black piano in a field, a wedding-cake couple preserved under glass, a shepherd stepping out of a Caravaggio painting and make the silences and elisions in his verse speak as potently as his words Yaa Gyasi. At its best, the novel makes us experience the horrors of slavery on an intimate, personal level As a result, Homegoing often feels deliberate and earthbound Emma Straub. Straub writes with such verve and sympathetic understanding of her characters that we barely notice.
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Janine di Giovanni. Leaving Aleppo, she writes, she did her best 'to take photographs inside my head, pictures that I would remember, that would show a country that no longer existed. Barnes has become increasingly preoccupied with characters looking back over the receding vistas of their lives. The two weakest links in this collection — 'Dark Meadow' about a pedophile and 'George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine' about a former East German prison warden — feature such reprehensible characters that Mr.
Johnson has a difficult time persuasively putting across their points of view The other tales in Fortune Smiles are worth everything: They reaffirm all the gifts Mr. Toni Morrison.
Because so many lives are mapped in this slender book and because so many of these characters speak to us directly in the first person, God Help the Child jumps around a lot in time and space; it is up to us to connect — or not connect — many of the dots. As the book flies toward its conclusion, the speed bumps in its early pages quickly recede in the rearview mirror. Writing with gathering speed and assurance as the book progresses, Ms.
Morrison works her narrative magic, turning the Ballad of Bride and Booker into a tale that is as forceful as it is affecting, as fierce as it is resonant. Don DeLillo. But once the novel shakes off its labored start, Zero K reminds us of Mr. Jody Warrick.