Fiction Reviews Archive

Shakespeare Turns 450: Read His Adaptation of Star Wars

Though he never looks a day over 250, Shakespeare turned 450 today. No one really knows his birthday...

The Stranger in the House: A Review of Ten White Geese

In Gerbrand Bakker’s novel Ten White Geese (published in the UK as The Detour), a Dutch woman takes a short-term lease on an old cottage in rural Wales. Avoiding contact with the handful of locals, she does little but sleep, drink wine, smoke, and wander around the property.

“Remember the Thalamus!” A Review of Andrew’s Brain

The narrator of E. L. Doctorow’s new novel is Andrew. Or, more accurately, Andrew’s brain. Or, perhaps most accurately, some consciousness that refers to itself as Andrew. It’s hard to get your bearings in this novel of neuroscience, because Andrew is the ultimate unreliable narrator: he knows that “there is nothing you can think

Micro-Review: The Good Lord Bird

“I was born a colored man and don’t you forget it. But I lived as a colored woman for seventeen years.” Thus begins the oral history of Henry Shackleford, aka “the Onion,” who was mistaken for a girl when he was kidnapped by white abolitionist John Brown in the wake of Brown accidentally causing

Micro-Review: The Lowland

Lahiri’s latest novel explores the limits of familial love and obligation. Brothers Subhash and Udayan are inseparable growing up in Calcutta in the 1960s; sneaking into the golf club, building a radio, and studying, always together. But as they enter separate colleges and political unrest flares in the countryside, the boys begin to drift

Micro-Review: Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish

If first novels carry the promise of characters and themes to come, last novels have a maturity of spirit and talent. David Rakoff’s final novel, completed just before his death in 2012, spans a century on the American continent, from the Chicago stockyards to sunny California to midtown Manhattan.

Micro-Review: Amy Falls Down

Amy Gallup is such a perfectionist, she once almost drowned because she couldn’t think of a less-cliched phrase to shout than “Help!” Grief and regret have kept her from fully embracing life, and she’s settled for being an unambitious writer teaching an online writing class – until the day she falls in her garden

Micro-Review: Available Light

Gardner’s third short story collection is set primarily in South Carolina, with a side trip to Vegas, and the Southern Gothic influence is clear. Jim and Dottie Goldfish, Pepsi Cola Hickman, and the other characters that populate these stories are oddball to the core.
In search of belief changing ideas