Book Reviews

Dollbaby

Dollbaby

Dollbaby, by Laura Lane McNeal. Viking, 2014. $26.95, 337 pages.

In her debut novel, author Laura Lane McNeal maps out the city of New Orleans in order to imagine a gripping tale of family secrets, civil rights, and Southern …

The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist

J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist, by Thomas Beller. New Harvest, 2014. $20, 192 pages.

J.D. Salinger wasn’t in the middle school canon where I grew up. Ventura, California, for most of my life, was a gerrymandered center-right political district. So my …

Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Pale Horse, Pale Rider

An experiment with the form of the nineteenth-century-style review: mega-long excerpts connected by impressionistic ligaments.

Pale Horse, Pale Rider, by Katherine Anne Porter. Random House, 1936.

Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell tried to persuade Charlotte Brontë—whose grim experience of the …

The Pedestrians

The Pedestrians

The Pedestrians, by Rachel Zucker. Wave Books, 2014. $18, 143 pages.

“How can any mother write an epic?” asks Rachel Zucker in her most recent poetry collection, The Pedestrians. Filled with fables, dreams, and ruminations, the book quivers with the …

Q

Q

Q, by Bill Lavender. Trembling Pillow Press, 2013. $16.95, 196 pages.

In his introduction to the 1998 Dalkey Archive Press volume entitled Innovations: an Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Robert McLaughlin, countering old fuddy-duddy F.R. Leavis, makes …

All Men Are Liars

All Men Are Liars

All Men Are Liars, by Alberto Manguel (translated by Miranda France). Riverhead Books, 2012. $16, 224 pages.

Argentinean writer Alberto Manguel’s novel All Men Are Liars contains a series of intertwining interviews about the infamous Alejandro Bevilacqua. The novel …

Red Mars

Red Mars

Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson. Random House, 1993.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars is probably the book that most science fiction aficionados think of when they think of hard Sci-Fi—that branch of science fiction that concerns itself only …

Fringe Florida

Fringe Florida

Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles, by Lynn Waddell. University Press of Florida, 2013. $24.95, 255 pages.

When most people think of Florida, they think of retirement, yachting, and college …