Category Archives: Fiction

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is the first book Nabokov wrote in English. It’s not quite the leaping, dazzling style of Lolita or Pale Fire — it is a little more brittle and fragile than that — but it … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

Get in Trouble

I think it’s pretty well established that I like my short stories weird. But these stories by Kelly Link pushed the weird envelope for me. They’re not necessarily bad stories, but I felt like I wasn’t getting some of them. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

Broken Monsters

I’m not sure where I first heard about this novel by Lauren Beukes, but I was given the impression that it’s a sort of science fiction mystery. It’s not that exactly. It’s really a straight-up horror novel that reads like … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

Tigerman

Tigerman, the third book I’ve read by Nick Harkaway (after The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker), sneaks up on you a bit. The dynamite opening sentence (“On the steps of the old mission house, the sergeant sat with the boy who … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments

Uprooted

Every ten years, the Dragon comes to the village of Dvernik and selects a 17-year-old girl to take back to his tower. Despite the rumors outside the village, he doesn’t eat them—he’s actually a wizard named Sarkan. And this wizard … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

Lila

I read Marilynne Robinson’s novel Lila way back in January, and have been letting my thoughts about it simmer. It is without a doubt one of the best novels I’ve read in years, and it touched me very deeply. How … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 5 Comments

The Round House

This novel by Louise Erdrich has a little bit of just about everything I love in fiction. There are kids on the cusp of being adults, geeking out over Star Trek: TNG in the same summer that they’re touched by … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 9 Comments

The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month is the third I’ve read of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series, set in the small village of Three Pines near Montreal. In this book, set on Easter weekend, a psychic happens to be visiting the village on … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 15 Comments

In Persuasion Nation

I wrote about George Saunders’s stories in Tenth of December about a year and a half ago. It surprises me to find that it was so long ago, because those stories have remained vivid in my mind as some of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

Piège pour Cendrillon (Trap for Cinderella)

Sébastien Japrisot is the name under which Jean-Baptiste Rossi wrote his marvelous, twisty, cunning crime novels. (It is interesting to see that his biographers and critics often write about his early novels as “literature,” as opposed to his crime novels. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 9 Comments