The follow-up to Outline is an even more satisfying exposition of a woman’s rich interior life; it is a fascinating, subdued illumination of the mundane’s transformation into profundity when examined in the right light.
The main pleasure in Cusk’s cycle of novels is their meditative effect. Like a mindfulness exercise disguised as fiction, their palliative energy make them necessary reading.
Moving at such a deliberate, languid pace and voiced by a character easily accused of insouciance, it is all too easy to overlook the book and protagonist's incisive wit and keen social perception.
Like Don Quixote translated by Joy Williams, Batuman's debut novel is a distinct reading pleasure, startling and soothing in equal measure.
Those vague, errant anxieties which plague and paralyze us, strengthened by subjectivity's inability to aptly describe them, are painted in precise, vivid colors in Lacey's debut novel. Our heroine, floundering (literally and figuratively) through New Zealand with mostly just her perturbation to keep her company, is as mysterious and fascinating as the landscape.
A stunning debut pioneering in its accurate portrayal of a first generation Chinese immigrant family (refreshingly free of stereotypes) and the pressure of the expectations, both societal and familial, forced upon them in a contradiction of identity. Within the first page, I was drawn to Fu's lyrical writing and vibrant characters that gradually intertwined with quiet brilliance and wit.Fu explores the debacle of what life is when constricted to a suffocating outlook of self-denial - what are we willing to sacrifice and suffer though in order for a few sparing moments of authenticity and the happiness it brings? Is complacency all we can accept when faced with overwhelming fear?All in all, an essential and engrossing read from an author whose further works I will be keeping an eye out for.
Spiotta's fourth novel fits seamlessly alongside her other work. It is a tale that magnificently ghosts a moment in American history, her research and fabrication masterfully woven into a contextually rich yarn. Innocents and Others (inspired by the fascinating Exploding the Telephone) introduces readers to Jelly, the author's most enigmatic and intriguing character to date. Her presence on the page and in the relationship between the book's alternating protagonists is so acutely observed and emotionally sonorous, she haunts the reader long after the page is turned.
The LA Times succinctly says it all: "[Spiotta] writes with a breezy precision and genuine wit that put her on a short-list of brilliant North American novelists who deserve a much wider audience.”
Disillusionment is a risky theme to tackle; a character adrift can easily come across as too thorny or unsympathetic, making even a masterfully written story insufferable. Luckily, we have Marcy Dermansky.
In the sea of earnest, self-conscious, cloyingly "witty" (and ultimately forgettable) modern fiction, she and The Red Car are acerbic salvation.
Dystopian fiction that will resonate well with fans of Black Mirror, Children of Men, and Fahrenheit 451; every story held me spellbound and fully immersed in a world that I was reluctant to leave afterward.
Take an unforgettable trip to the historic city of Hav! Watch the exciting roof-race! Explore the caves of the mysterious Kretevs! Marvel at the secret rites of the Cathars! Morris evokes a place so rich and fascinating that you'll wish you were there!
Addressing identity and the role we play in one another's lives, The Collective is the haunting, moving and wryly drawn novel I wanted The Interestings to be. Don Lee is writing at the height of his powers in this novel, the acuity common to all of his work tempered here with the perfectly rendered melancholy of growing pains.
In this bleak dreamlike narrative, Adrià Guinart is like an anti-Quixote, wandering the countryside in search of escape from his country's perpetual war, but finding instead, like Quixote, frequent merciless beatings.