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Review: Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout

There’s no hook in Abide With Me, an early novel by Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton.   I got fifty or so pages in and nearly gave up.  (In fact I had a sneaking suspicion at that juncture that all seemed familiar here and that quite possibly, I had […]

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Review: The Iguala 43 by Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez

  On September 26th, 2014, a group of 43 student protestors from a Rural Teacher’s College traveled to the city of Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico. The following day, all 43 students would “be disappeared”, a term which has become all too familiar to the people of Mexico, and two years of […]

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Review: Lincoln in the Bardo

This month, all three major American magazines feature reviews of the new (and first) novel by George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo. The reviewer in the Atlantic pans it, saying that “Sadism and sentimentality preside over the novel hand in hand”  and complains that “The book’s crux . . . is either impossible or trivial.”  […]

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Review: A Beauty by Connie Gault

  The best Canadian novel I’ve read this year is A Beauty, by Connie Gault.  Set in Saskatchewan in the 30s and the 60s, the novel is artfully constructed as a headlong flight from one small town to another by the lost and beautiful Elena, an outward journey when she is 18, and then a return […]

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REVIEW: The Rise and Fall of Great Powers

– by Tom Rachman –    Tom Rachman’s second novel has many of the same sparkling qual ities that drew me to The Imperfectionists:  exotic locales, quirky characters, and intricately plotted narrative.  But it seems to me that he has really grown up in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by creating characters like Tooly, Humphrey, Venn, […]

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