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Barnes & Noble Review

Last Stories and Other Stories

In Last Stories and Other Stories‘ opening salvo, ”To the Reader,” William Vollmann asserts: ”This is my final book.  Any subsequent productions bearing my name will have been composed by a ghost.”  What is the reader to make of the preface to his new heroic, unsettling, and above all capacious and ambitious story collection? Is this the literal truth?  What of the anticipated fifth book in his Seven Dreams series, The Dying Grass, projected to ap ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 15 2014, 12:31pm CDT
 

Montana Myths: Malcolm Brooks

It comes as little surprise to learn that Lonesome Dove is a seminal literary influence in Malcolm Brooks’s life. Reading his debut novel, Painted Horses, you’ll hear the voice of Larry McMurtry, as well as echoes of Jim Harrison, Wallace Stegner, and that old go-to, Cormac McCarthy. But make no mistake, Malcolm Brooks stands on his own without leaning on the crutches of those other seasoned writers. Painted Horses — which is a Barnes & Noble Discover Gre ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 13 2014, 11:42am CDT
 

A Colder War

We first met disgraced British intelligence operative Thomas Kell a couple of years ago in Charles Cumming’s A Foreign Country. Despite his valiant performance in finding the just-appointed MI6 chief Amelia Levene, who had disappeared without a trace, and rescuing her kidnapped son — exploits that made up that excellent novel’s plot — we find that he’s still persona non grata in Cumming’s new work, A Colder War. Kell continues to dangle in limbo, a scapegoat suffering ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 13 2014, 11:34am CDT
 

Panic in a Suitcase

Yelena Akhtiorskaya’s debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase, has numerous elements that might seem familiar to certain readers. At its center is the Nasmertov family, émigrés from Odessa to Brighton Beach. Pasha, the late-thirties son whose 1993 visit to New York opens the novel, is a poet; Esther and Robert, his parents, ponder life in their adopted country even as Esther struggles with cancer. What makes Panic in a Suitcase so memorable, then, is the way that it avoids the clichéd ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 13 2014, 11:30am CDT
 

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and The Rise of Reagan

Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan spans the years 1973 to 1976, a period during which the American sense of well-being was at a memorably low ebb. These were the years in which Gerald Ford, in the unelected president’s first address before a joint session of Congress, declared that “the state of the Union is not good.” Two girls wrote a Michigan newspape ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 13 2014, 11:29am CDT
 

The Tailors of Panama: August 11 – August 16

August 12 “Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and aesthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than about the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire iron be ...
Full article at: Barnes & Noble Review Aug 13 2014, 11:24am CDT
 



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