A supremely weird, supremely good collection of short stories and vignettes. Voltaire Night left me instilled with a bizarre and almost unsettling feeling of gratitude. The First Full Thought of her Life took my breath away. The sense of what I can only describe as casual foreboding - the nonchalant acknowledgment that in the end, whether literally or metaphorically, we're all just ticking bombs - that permeates Wait Till You See Me Dance gave me pause again and again. Which is a long way of saying that it's just an excellent, odd, exciting book, one that will stick with me for a long time.
It's our instinct for survival - the most universal, the most animal part of each of us - that makes us capable of both surprising cruelty and gut-splitting love. From where, exactly, do those instincts spring? A Loving, Faithful Animal is a novel about war and about peace, about violence and tenderness, about loyalty and betrayal, and about what we learn and what we're born knowing, which is to say that it's a novel about family. What a fine novel it is.
I have nothing bad to say about this book. Thorne is a MASTER at telling an enemies to lovers story - which most people seem to get wrong. Not only that but her charactesr are rich, her dialogue is witty, and she just all-around makes you feel good! You'll want to read it five times in a row... and then, maybe again, just for good measure.
You might fall in love with Merricat Blackwood, the murderous narrator of this atmospheric, chilling read. You might enjoy the off-kilter, simple - not spare - language Jackson used to craft her story. Or you may simply eat up this delectable table of treachery, magic, madness, and posen.
This debut novel from a master of short stories manages to bind together a story of ghosts gone wild in a graveyard, the Civil War, a president's grief, real historical accounts, and numerous mentions of poop. Emotionally fraught, hysterically funny, and a beautiful exploration of the unlived life, this book is the 2017 winner of the Man Booker Prize, as well as Most Likely To Make Me Cry While Reading on the Bus.
A young Swedish boy comes to the U.S. in the 1840s only to be immediately separated from his older brother. While becoming a man, he travels alone across the lawless American west, reputation growing as an outlaw legend known only as "The Hawk." Part coming-of-age tale, part survivalist story, you have never read a western frontier novel like this. Truly one of the best books of the year.
Take a disorienting dive into language, meaning and identity with this new collection of experimental narratives by the author of the fantastic Vertigo.
An exquisite character study -- based on the life of the author's great aunt. -- Miss Jane tells the story of Jane Chisolm, born to dour parents in the early 20th century Mississippi. Jane is born with a defect, which make having children out of the question, and creates a sort of solitary existence for her, as she makes her place in the world. These are tough times, and there isn't much sympathy to be found on the farm, but the doctor, who delivers her, becomes her mentor, passing her books and the wisdom of his experience. Jane blossoms, despite her physical difference, and becomes a shining example of a loving and compassionate human being. One of my favorite books of 2016.
What makes a masterpiece? In a career as prolific, eclectic and adventurous as Percival Everett's, his body of work the very definition of singularity, it may even be foolish to hint one book is superior to another. And while it might be brazen to assert So Much Blue may be that magnum opus, it is an accusation i gleefully declare. A blissfully precise pen firmly draws the reader into the life of Kevin Pace in his quest for absolution and closure and the novel's three timelines kept deftly aloft by Everett's signature humor and nuanced storytelling.
Each story here feels like it is dressed in a color that doesn't exist in nature. They feel familiar, somehow, but with an effect of feeling slightly left of center, rattling your expectations.
As the stories progress, they feel increasingly tighter with a strengthening emotional punch that will leave the reader breathless.