Reviews > Books

14 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

The Ghost Soldiers

The sad details of everyday life are distilled into a brilliant collection.

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Wild Mulberries by Iman Humaydan Younes

Every time the reader is drawn in deeper, Younes pulls away, retracting back into her unaffected prose.

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13 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

A Week of This

The small-scale tragedy is weirdly enjoyable due to the protagonists, who are darkly amusing as they grind through life and ponder their bleak future.

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10 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited by Andrew Holleran

With heartfelt honesty and in beautifully executed prose, each piece considers a theme or experience linked to the early period of the AIDS crisis.

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America America by Ethan Canin

Just like its title, Ethan Canin’s ambitious new political novel is twice as long as it needs to be.

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Sing Me Back Home by Dana Jennings

A personal history and a love letter, urging us to embrace country music as American music.

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9 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

The Savior

We see humanity at its highest—making art—coexisting with our most barbaric impulses.

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The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman

Bauman crams so much into the story of the Victorian Bostonian, repressed wife, orchid hunter, and suffragette that the book goes from mildly unrealistic yarn to really annoying to toppling into hopeless silliness.

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8 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

Dreamland by Tom Gilling

Really, someone should start a union for mysterious women in thrillers and demand better conditions.

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7 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen

Gessen's writing most resembles F. Scott Fitzgerald’s in the struggle to represent youth and beauty without succumbing fully and uncritically to their seduction.

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Growing Up Asian in Australia by Alice Pung

Anyone who has been bullied or excluded or felt that their family is weird will identify with many of these stories.

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6 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Bonk by Mary Roach

While writing about the serious science of sex, Roach appears to have never met a double entendre she didn’t like.

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The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget by

This guide will help you pinch your pennies along the journey so you can splash out when it counts.

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E: The Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy by Tim Pilcher

There is much to be learned about this little pill, and it is a comfort knowing that everyone -- raver or non-raver, pill-popper or anti-drug -- is able to, in their own way, "keep it real".

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2 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

Side Effects by Alison Bass

Bass executes such a revealing expose on the shadowy world of medical research and the pharmaceutical industry that it proves important stories, like timeless truths, need repeating.

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The Narcissist’s Daughter by Craig Holden

One of the better literary thrillers I’ve read in a long while, a revenge tale that twists into a well-constructed edge-of-your- sofa-cushion murder story.

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The Riddle of the Sands & The 39 Steps

Unlike their characters, Childers and Buchan refused to indulge in such nonchalant optimism. Their books are fine examples of the ‘Invasion Novel’, a sub-genre of thriller which flourished in the early years of the 20th century.

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The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

With the utmost care and exemplary craft, this story transitions seamlessly between rather quotidian adventure and intoxicating and unnerving conflations of myth and philosophy.

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The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

With its unflinching portraits of American hypocrisy and the harsh truths of warfare, this is the sort of novel that is difficult to forget.

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The Word of God by Thomas M. Disch

This reads as if Italo Calvino was somewhat slow and raised on MTV, but had tried to write If on a winter’s night a traveler …” , anyway.

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