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Review: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Draw your weapon. Come on, at least give it a try! Eli Sisters, the doughy, conscience-stricken antihero of Patrick deWitt’s second novel, The Sisters Brothers, would want it that way…
Review: Tabloid City by Pete Hamill
There’s nothing as dramatic as the twilight of an institution, be it the Roman Empire or print journalism. In his latest novel, Tabloid City, Pete Hamill captures the latter through the lens of a contemporary (but fictional) daily called the New York World…
Review: There Is No Year by Blake Butler
Calling Blake Butler’s There Is No Year a novel is akin to calling René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images a pipe; both works subtly expand the framework of their respective disciplines by challenging an audience that has solidified its expectations after centuries of familiarity and repetition.
Review: Hotel No Tell by Daphne Uviller
If, as a reader, you momentarily lose track of the setting of Daphne Uviller’s humorous mystery Hotel No Tell—her second featuring intrepid woman detective Zephyr Zuckerman­—fear not: You’ll be reminded immediately…
Review: The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure
If you were ever a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series—the ostensibly autobiographical novels about a pioneer girl growing up in the 19th-century Midwest—prepare to have your perceptions of the Ingalls family skewed ever so slightly…
Review: Thirteen Fugues by Jennifer Natalya Fink
Jennifer Natalya Fink’s fourth novel begins as a tale of two sisters growing up in Ithaca in the 1970s. Preteen Tanya ponders the absurdities of Jewish law while memorizing the meaning of words like sororicide with her older sister, Jane…
Review: Touch by Alexi Zentner
Sawgamet, the remote northern-Canadian setting of Alexi Zentner’s Touch, experienced a gold-rush heyday after a vagabond orphan named Jeannot caught a fish with a gold nugget in its belly…
Review: The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Philips
Have you heard (the one) about the new play by Shakespeare? Its impetuous king and Elizabethan plot points are packed into the back of Arthur Phillips’s new book, The Tragedy of Arthur. The remaining 250 pages?…
Review: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
It’s a surreal experience, reading the last novel from David Foster Wallace. Cobbled together from sheaves of notes and files Wallace left behind at the time of his death in 2008, the version of The Pale King that we have is likely a far different one than he would have completed himself…
Review: Toxicology by Jessica Hagedorn
One wouldn’t expect a lot of squeaky-clean characters with a name like Toxicology, but in her eleventh book, multitalented author Jessica Hagedorn confronts the reader with the most washed-up bunch of users she’s ever created…