There’s lots of collective WTF on the left about the election results. Trump won — but how? The results in Pennsylvania are instructive.
Another modern reader wrestles with Dickens’ “favorite child”
Allan Gurganus’ huge 80s faux-memoir is a monster book full of big voices and intertwined stories. Yet it struggles at times to rise above its own pure particularity.
The Social Security Administration’s archives are a rich source of data on American naming trends.
The short story writer Raymond Carver, who died prematurely at 50, still casts quite a long shadow. If you haven’t read his stories you’re missing a major influence in modern fiction (and a fine writer to boot).
Graceling is a workmanlike debut: rather explicit romance between teens with special powers, set in a fairly rudimentary fantasy environment.
Dahl’s two-volume autobiography offers a wide collection of anecdotes from his school days, his days working for Shell and his time as an RAF pilot in the Second World War. Some suitable for children, some less so.
Expectations run high when you hear about a “forgotten” monument of 20th-century literature. Miklos Banffy’s sprawling, muscular epic of pre-WWI Hungary delivers.
The Worm Ouroboros is a curious classic that influenced some major figures in 20th century fantasy. Fans of the chiseled abs of modern commercial fiction may lose patience quickly, but if you’re not familiar with it, it’s worth a look.
The title of Paul Theroux’s new story collection makes me expect something zany, gripping and sardonic. Sardonic they are, zany they may try to be, but gripping they’re not, entirely. Unsettling and unloving are words that come to mind, and I’m flirting with “unwholesome.”