Category Archives: Fiction

The Fishermen

This year’s Man Booker longlist is heavy on family dramas, and this debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma is another to add to that list. And like so many of the other family dramas, this book is perfectly good, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Arrival

The Arrival is a wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan, an Australian author. Its images are sepia-toned, as if they come from an old photo album. It begins with a man saying goodbye to his wife and children: he is … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels / Comics | 4 Comments

The Green Road

After reading the first couple of chapters in Anne Enright’s new novel, I tweeted that I was feeling done with novels that were really interconnected short stories. That’s not entirely true, of course, but the first half of this book … Continue reading

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A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, the seventh book I’ve read for the WoMan Booker Shadow Panel, got off to an inauspicious start when I took an instantaneous dislike to the snobby Whitshank family at its heart. It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged | 25 Comments

Oblivion

A couple of months ago, I reviewed David Foster Wallace’s book of essays, Consider the Lobster. I read that book with increasing pleasure (and perhaps a tinge of surprise), and in the end was really blown pretty much flat by … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments

The Year of the Runaways

This novel by Sunjeev Sahota is the sixth of the Booker nominees that I’ve read for the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Panel and the third (along with Lila and A Brief History of Seven Killings) that I’d be happy to include … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Brief History of Seven Killings

I began reading Marlon James’s new novel back in February, and it quickly became clear that I didn’t have the brain space for it. The multiple narrators, dialect, and full immersion into 1970s Jamaica required more than fragmentary bits of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged | 19 Comments

The Illuminations

The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan is the kind of book that makes me feel wholly unsophisticated as a reader. I could admire what O’Hagan is attempting to do and appreciate his fine wordsmithing, but I couldn’t find my way to … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | Tagged | 12 Comments

The Moor’s Account

My third book for the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Panel is a solidly entertaining, straight-down-the-line work of historical fiction by Laila Lalami. I was unimpressed by Lalami’s first novel, so I was not enthusiastic about reading this, but it’s a much … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | Tagged | 5 Comments

A Tale for the Time Being

As I sit down to write about Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, I’m wondering how to articulate just how much I liked this book. It’s one of the most charming books I’ve read this year, but if … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments