e c l e c t i c a r e v i e w s a n d
i n t e r v i e w s
(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)
Ann Skea reviews...
by Holly Throsby
Two strangers come into town on the same day. The man—in a smart, slightly old-fashioned suit—sits down on the pavement outside Cora Franks's Curios and Old Wares shop, and dies. There is nothing on him to identify him, and an autopsy finds he probably died of an unknown poison. This is the first mystery of the book.
In My Mind's Eye
by Jan Morris
All-in-all, In My Mind's Eye is really like having light, charming, gossipy meetings with an old friend who believes the recipe for a happy old age is "Be Kind," and it is probably best read at intervals, as if you were bumping into each other frequently, as good neighbors might.
by Patrick deWitt
French Exit is a farce, and I am not particularly fond of farces. Some readers will, no doubt, find the bizarre, ridiculous situations hilarious, but they just made me think of crazy surrealist paintings.
The White Book
by Han Kang, translation by Deborah Smith
She imagines, again, her sister's birth, her mother's plea, "Don't die. For God's sake don't die," and the sudden flood of milk filling her mother's breasts. "She. I think of her living to drink that milk," she begins. And chapter-by-brief-chapter, page-by-page, she gives her sister life.
Alone (a graphic novel)
by Christophe Chabouté, translation by Ivanka Hahnenberger
With pictures and a few words, Charbouté captures the characters of the boatman and his deckhand, and especially of the hermit. We see the imaginative world in which he lives. We see his habitual occupation of dropping a dictionary onto his table so that it falls open at a single definition.
by Michael Veitch
Dr. Veitch was the great-great-grandfather of the author, Michael Veitch. No one in Michael's family had ever talked about his story, so there is an element of detective fiction about this book. For a ship that caused so much terror and concern when it sailed like a ghost-ship into Port Phillip Bay, the Ticonderoga is now all but forgotten.
Crow Flight across the Sun
by Mike Di Placido
Crow Flight across the Sun is a small gift in poetry and prose I think Ted Hughes would have enjoyed.
The Barefoot Surgeon
by Ali Gripper
So, at the age of seven, Sanduk walked 150 kilometers with his father, along treacherous paths, across canyons on terrifying planks and suspension bridges, and through a blizzard to get to the school. There his father left him.
Peter Amos reviews...
Americana: A 400 Year History of American Capitalism
by Bhu Srinivasan
Srinivasan's narrative reflects how the country sees itself, but he's more honest than the mythology. Slavery makes an appearance. War does, too. He never overlooks regulation of markets, or their stimulus by federal money. Srinivasan's argument—that American capitalism is molded by state action, and not simply an unbridled force of nature—is convincing. But he's infatuated with the story at the expense of its more interesting (and perhaps more important) detours.
Betinna Hansen interviews...
author of Darling Jim
"I didn't know I wanted to write books until I had been a movie executive," Moerk says. "I saw all the manuscripts coming in and I thought, That's what I wanna do. I don't want to hire those people. I want to be those people. "
Gilbert Wesley Purdy discusses...
I've been very leery of purchasing things over the Internet. Only two companies have my card number (not including the bank). Each is a major company known for excellent protection of its customers' personal data. Of course they protect it from everyone but themselves.