Filed under Fiction

Slade House

Slade House cover

Immortality: humans have lusted after it since time immemorial. Jonah and Norah Grayer, the soul-eating twins at the center of David Mitchell’s new novel, think they have immortality perfected. They’ve been thirty-some years old since 1931, thanks to the fact that every nine years, a “guest” is lured into the twins’ lair, beginning in 1979…
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The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I

Like fine wine, author Alison Weir is better with age. Or maybe it’s just taken this long to forgive her interpretation of Elizabeth I’s early years. The more Tudor historical fiction one reads the more one is apt to forgive the glossing over of certain persons and events, as well as the concept of artistic license. Still, it would be safe to say that this novel is Weir’s crowning achievement as she flawlessly manages to both realistically and sympathetically  portray Elizabeth’s endless sidesteps and intricate machinations in avoiding “the married state.”

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Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Edogawa Rampo has been called the Edgar Allan Poe of Japan, and with good reason. Each of the nine stories in this collection offers the reader a unique level of creepy discomfort with endings that still manage to surprise. “The Caterpillar” tells of a bitter wife trapped caring for her husband, a war veteran and quadruple amputee, while “The Human Chair” features a young author who is increasingly disturbed while reading the manuscript sent to her by a fan.
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Loitering

I’m not going to pretend to be an aficionado of essays, but I know a well-curated collection when I see one, fiction or otherwise. This new essay collection by short story writer and essayist Charles D’Ambrosio is dark, disarming, occasionally funny and honestly not what I expected from a collection of essays.
Karen Continue reading

When It Happens to You

Don’t judge this book by its author, Molly Ringwald, an actress who reached stardom in the 80’s. You will find it is a terrifically captivating book in and of itself. And any skepticism concerning Ringwald as a writer will quickly vanish. Writing the novella as intermingling short stories really added to the genius of the work.
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The Sisters Brothers

The best thing about book clubs is they introduce you to books you would never pick up yourself.  Such is the case with The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt.  This novel is a literary western, set against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush of the 1850’s.  It follows the story of Eli and Charlie Sisters who are on a mission to kill a man.
Maggie Continue reading

That Part Was True

As Eve Petworth deals with the loss of her mother, she finds solace in cooking and reading. When she writes to Jack Cooper, a famous American writer, she is surprised to receive a direct response. As they write to each other, they share recipes and slowly reveal hardships in their lives.
Beth
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The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

A man from the North Pole meets a woman from the South Pole. It’s love at first sight, but, for mysterious reasons, they cannot touch. The man from Nord, also known as “The Storyteller,” recounts the epic tale of his journey through ancient lands filled with bloodthirsty tribes, tempestuous rulers, and fickle gods to find a lost piece of his soul.
Karen Continue reading