Tag Archive: Book Review

Jul 20

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

It’s astonishing how much detail, plot and character development Vivek Shanbhag packs into his novella Ghachar Ghochar. Published for the first time in English and beautifully translated from Kannada by Srinath Perur, the book is an epic family saga told in less than 30,000 words. On the surface it’s a rags to riches tales as …

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Jul 19

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

While Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 could have done with a haircut – to the worth of 30,000 or so words – that doesn’t change the fact that it’s both enormously entertaining and has something to say. Set in a partly flooded Manhattan, with flashbacks to the boroughs of New York, KSR tells a …

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Jul 10

Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor is a very strong and erudite collection of short fiction. There’s a real sense of range and diversity to the stories that feature in the book. A piece recounting the final days of a city on the cusp of being razed to the ground by the khan’s armies …

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Jul 06

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen

Krissy Kneen’s An Uncertain Grace is a marvelous book, the sort of marvelous book that deserves the type of in-depth analysis that I don’t have time to provide. It’s a toss-up between this novel and Jane Rawson’s From The Wreck as to which is my favourite book (so far) for the year. While I might …

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Jul 03

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

When literary blogs and the book section of newspapers published their list of novels to look forward to in 2017, Elif Batuman’s The Idiot was listed frequently. Her previous book, The Possessed, a collection of Batuman’s pieces on the topic of Russian literature garnered a great deal of praise and while that was six years …

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Jul 02

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Reading All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg could have been a painful process, the equivalent of having your teeth removed via your nostrils. The story of a woman in her late thirties, childless, unmarried and living in New York screams neuroses, therapist and the sort of wacky misadventures that would embarrass Candance Bushnell. And yet …

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Jun 29

Ill Will by Dan Chaon

I remarked on Twitter that while Ill Will by Dan Chaon is often gripping and has some fun with typography the novel did very little that was new for a psychological thriller. This feeling that the book was a tad conventional was the result of picking one of the key reveals toward the end of …

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Jun 28

Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou

Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou opens in the 1970s in an orphanage on the outskirts of Pointe-Noire a port city in the Republic of Congo. Our young protagonist with an incredibly long name but known as Moses (for short) is surprised when Papa Moupelo, a kindly ‘pocket-sized’ priest in elevator heels abruptly disappears. This absence …

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Jun 27

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

More than one reviewer has compared Katie Kitamura’s new novel, A Separation, with Rachel Cusk’s Outline (2014). Both books feature female protagonists, newly divorced, who find themselves on holiday in Greece. They’re also tonally alike, sharply observed, intricately detailed and almost devoid of passion or warmth. And yet while I loved Outline, I was less …

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Jun 26

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

I’m willing to admit that I haven’t read nearly enough of George Saunders’ work other than a couple of short stories and fond memories of his novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. But with all the advance talk about his début novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, I was more than willing to board …

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