Thursday Evening Book Reviews

Dwight Garner on Complete Short Stories of James Purdy: “Purdy’s stories are relentless, in terms of their commitment to exploring alienation. As such they are also reminders that persistence and tenacity aren’t substitutes for literary talent. A sense of second-rateness creeps in early and lingers.” (NYTimes)

Leigh Cuen on Anne-Marie O’Connor’s The Lady in Gold: “O’Connor’s writes gruesome depictions of death and hatred, repeatedly referring to these crimes against humanity as ‘”orgies of violence.”” (The Rumpus)

Catherine Taylor on Philipp Meyer’s The Son: “Meyer, crucially, avoids passing absolute judgment about any one side. Nobody emerges in triumph – the brutalisation, even sadism, facilitates a grim, frequently temporary survival. In Eli, Meyer has created a picaresque anti-hero of crackling ambition and unspoken losses. He remains the bedrock of this work, right up to its eerie, heart-stopping finish.” (The Telegraph)

Orlando Bird on  Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter’s The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger: “Witty and illuminating, The Norm Chronicles is essential reading for anyone wanting to know whether they should try skydiving, or accept that third glass of wine.” (Financial Times)

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