Category Archives: Previews

Short pages summarising and talking briefly about new or old books.

Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”

It is a rare treat to be able to see the novel in its first form: stripped of pretense, its diction, and every convention we have come to regard with this form, there is nevertheless something very graceful in its … Continue reading

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Junot Díaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

There are few emerging writers who are able to completely defy literary convention. This is a good thing. Were every new novel written as experimentalist or precedent setting we would have no firm notion of what the avant-garde really is. … Continue reading

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Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Having seen this title grace nearly every Modern Library or Time’s list of Top 100 Novels, I was surprised that it took so long for me to finally get around to reading it. I am, of course, very glad that … Continue reading

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David Mitchell’s “Ghostwritten”

My admiration of David Mitchell began when I read his semi-autobiographical “Black Swan Greene,” from 2006. His poised perfect dialogue and his interconnecting short story format (echoing that of Sherwood Anderson’s seminal “Tar: A Midwest Childhood”) appeal not just to … Continue reading

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Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Virgin Suicides”

I recently had a professor who would spend hours in class talking about the show “Hoarders.” The problem, he would say, goes not only expertly exploited, but is so deeply infused within the characters’ unrequited trauma that the viewer was privy … Continue reading

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Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce”

In The Observer, Anthony Burgess called Ellmann’s 1959 biography of James Joyce “the greatest literary biography of the century.” However, those who have managed their way through the 800+ page behemoth are inclined to disagree with the novelist; Ellmann’s work … Continue reading

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Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go”

Similar to the Booker-prize winning “The Remains of the Day,” “”Never Let Me Go” excels in gentle implication, where what is left unsaid proves to be much more powerful than what is given. Ishiguro borrows much from his award-winning novel: … Continue reading

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