Tag Archives: Claustrophobic

The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith

Synopsis: While working on a novel in Tunisia, a writer encounters his own heart of darkness. Review: I had written a truly brilliant review of Patricia Highsmith’s The Tremor of Forgery, but it got eaten. Fie! The salient points were: Patricia Highsmith plays cat and mouse with the reader just like her most famous creation Tom Ripley played cat and mouse with anyone he encountered She is a master of nuance characterization The final third of the novel is a tour-de-force of subtle character dynamics…

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Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb

Synopsis: Soldier Son Nevare’s adventures culminate in a battle within his divided self for mastery of his body in defiance of the magic. Review: When last we saw Nevare, he was grossly fat and resigned to a life on the outside. A Soldier Son of modest ambition, Nevare’s soul was cleft in two during a battle with the tree goddess Lisana. Now, in Renegade’s Magic, the trilogy’s conclusion, Nevare finds himself trapped, with his Speck alter-ego having taken control of his body in order to…

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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Synopsis: The last of a dying breed, a proper English butler reflects on his life in service. Review: I had no idea I would love The Remains of the Day as much as I did. To be honest, I love Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go so much that I was afraid that if I didn’t like this book, my love for that one would be tainted irrevocably. Share on Facebook

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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Synopsis: One man’s harrowing journey up the Congo in search of enlightenment. Review: Blogging really wasn’t invented for talking about a book like Heart of Darkness. I am utterly incapable of coming up with anything approaching an instant reaction to this book. I need to sit with it for a long time, then read it again, then sit with it some more, then read it again. Then maybe I can talk about it. I promise to let you know if I come up with anything…

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The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

Synopsis: A new house in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood spells disaster for all its inhabitants. Review: It’s awfully hard to be frightened when you’re sitting on a rooftop deck in West Hollywood, letting the setting sun dry your bathing suit after discovering that you can float like a cork in the saltwater pool. Share on Facebook

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Winterwood by Patrick McCabe

Synopsis: Entranced by the folk tales of an old mountain man, and repulsed by the same man’s grisly crimes, Redmond Hatch struggles to narrate the events which led him to bring his beloved wife and daughter to winterwood. Review: I was upset by the way Winterwood seduced me. I did not want to be reeled in by Redmond and his elliptical storytelling because I knew that, between the lines, he was telling me stories I didn’t want him to be able to tell. I wanted…

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The Ruins by Scott Smith

Synopsis: A jungle adventure turns into a nightmare when six tourists find themselves trapped in a clearing, unable to leave without being shot by Mayans, and finding a gory secret that brings new definition to the word flesh-eating. Review: I had to finish The Ruins during the day time, because I really did not want to face the heebie-jeebies again tonight. This book is scary, y’all–one of the scariest I’ve read in quite some time. It’s scary like I like, too, not just gore and…

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I’ll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates

Synopsis: A troubled, introspective young woman in college in the early 60s falls out of favor with her sorority sisters and into a troubled relationship with a black PhD candidate in philosophy. Review: Very typical Oates–claustrophobic first-person narrative from the POV of a woman with serious issues. The story is laced with philosophical arguments that are way less interesting than the arcana of sorority life. Once Anellia leaves the Kappa house, the book loses contact with the larger world, narrowing in on Anellia and Vernor’s…

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