Tag Archive: National Book Award

Jan 06

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone spans a fourty year period.  It begins in the 1960s when Margaret, an American living in London, marries John, who while charming and charismatic has also been battling with depression since he was a teen. Moving back to America they have three children, Michael, Celia and Alec. For most of …

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Nov 25

Who Should Have Won This Year’s National Book Award

As a reminder here is a list of the nominees with a helpful link to my reviews: Karen E. Bender, “Refund” Angela Flournoy, “The Turner House” Lauren Groff, “Fates and Furies” Adam Johnson, “Fortune Smiles” Hanya Yanagihara, “A Little Life” If you’ve read my reviews you’ll know that my favorite book on this ballot was …

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Nov 23

Book Review: Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

Bottom Line A powerful, intellectually honest and confronting collection of six stories. Representative Paragraph An excerpt from “Interesting Facts” This was a year after my diagnosis, surgery, chemo and the various interventions, injections, indignities and treatments. When I got sick, our youngest child turned herself into a horse: silent and untamable, our Horse-child now only whinnies …

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Nov 19

Book Review: Refund by Karen E. Bender

Bottom Line If there’s any justice, this collection will win this year’s National Book Award.  It’s that good. [Note: I wrote this review, including the Bottom Line, before the winner, Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles, was announced.  So I suppose there is no justice…!  (Though Fortune Smiles is also a great collection – review forthcoming). Representative Paragraph  I love …

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Nov 07

Book Review: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Bottom Line A family drama set in Detroit that explores issues of addiction, infidelity and the economic realities of a place that’s been hit by the full brunt of the global financial crisis.  It’s a fantastic début novel that never flinches from the truth, but doesn’t judge either. Representative Paragraph The writing here is brilliant, but …

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Nov 04

Book Review: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Bottom Line Ignore all the platitudes and critical praise.  This novel is a hollow excursion into a marriage that’s totally devoid of humanity or remotely relatable characters. Representative Paragraph Lotto makes an arse of himself at a conference… [Lotto]: “There are male wives. When I was an actor, I was so underemployed that I basically …

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Oct 19

So who should have won this year’s Man Booker Prize?

As reminder below are the nominees and links to my reviews. Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications) Tom McCarthy, Satin Island (Jonathan Cape) Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press) Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways (Picador) Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus) Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Picador) As you’d be aware, Marlon …

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Oct 15

The Nominees for the National Book Award for fiction have been announced…

… and they are as follows: Karen E. Bender, “Refund” Angela Flournoy, “The Turner House” Lauren Groff, “Fates and Furies” Adam Johnson, “Fortune Smiles” Hanya Yanagihara, “A Little Life” No surprise at all to see A Little Life appear as a finalist.  It’s a novel that I’m sure I’ll be seeing allot more of next year and …

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Sep 27

Book Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Bottom Line I’m conflicted when it comes to A Little Life.  On the negative side it’s too long, it’s depiction of sexual abuse is over the top and there are moments when the characters feel more like punching bags then real people.  However, it’s a novel that I won’t forget in a hurry.  Yanagihara’s exploration of …

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Nov 20

And The Winner of National Book Award For Best Novel Is….

… Phil Klay for Redeployment. Very happy to be wrong about who would win the award.  My money was on Anthony Doerr. As I stated in my review, the hype for Redeployment, which began in February 2014, is absolutely justified.  The collection features a number of powerful, confronting and at least one laugh out loud funny story …

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