Category Archives: Fiction

The People in the Trees

Apparently, the way to get me to read something is to write a gushing post about it and then specifically name me in the post as someone who should read it. That’s what Other Jenny did in her post about … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 9 Comments

On Giving Up on Night Film After Only 50 Pages

I know better than to give in to literary hype, but I also know better than to dismiss hyped books. If it sounds like my kind of thing, I’ll give it a try, and Night Film by Marisha Pessl sounded … Continue reading

Posted in Abandoned, Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 18 Comments

Paradise of the Blind

The cover of this 1988 novel by Duong Thu Huong states that it is the first novel from Vietnam to be published in the U.S. And for an American reader like me, who mostly knows Vietnam from movies about the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

Quicksand and Passing

These two novellas by Nella Larsen are concerned with questions of identity. How do we find our identity? How does society inform our identity? And how do we break free when we don’t care for society’s definitions? In particular, the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 8 Comments

The Way We Live Now (part 2)

My first post on The Way We Live Now was about possessions, in the broadest possible sense. Trollope examines, and satirizes, the way we live now (and indeed the way we live now is not very different) as a time … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 2 Comments

The Way We Live Now (part 1)

If I told you I’d just read a brawling, sprawling, money-grubbing, dog-eat-dog indictment of society’s financial and moral systems, what would you think I was talking about? If you said, “Something by Christopher Reich or Scott Turow,” you’re in the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 12 Comments

Some Prefer Nettles

A word of advice to people who write copy for back covers of books. Think carefully before you discuss events that occur in the last third or so of the book. I’m not a reader who minds spoilers, and some … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 8 Comments

The Circle

In order to have any hope of enjoying Dave Eggers’s The Circle, I had to put aside two major reservations right from the start. The first is the fact that the online social network at the heart of the book … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

The Ringed Castle

The last scene of Pawn in Frankincense left us standing, bereft, as Francis Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny left his friends, his opium habit, his country, his son, and his virgin wife. He left unexpectedly, for parts unknown, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

Nervous Conditions

Tambu, the narrator of this 1988 novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, begins her story with what seems like a confession: I was not sorry when my brother died. Nor am I apologizing for my callousness, as you may define … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 8 Comments