Tag Archives: Obsession

Sherry and Narcotics by Nina-Marie Gardner

Synopsis: A young American woman who can’t stay sober moves to Manchester to live near the internet boyfriend who can only see her on Saturday nights. Review: I feel like I’ve read Sherry and Narcotics a million times, only with different names and in different cities. I’m not saying the book lacks literary merit, only that this particular kind of semi-autobiographical sexy self-destructiveness seems to have a perennial appeal. 10 years ago I read Morvern Callar and thought it was deep; now I just feel…

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Dreamsongs (Volume 1) by George RR Martin

Synopsis: The first of two anthologies featuring short stories by George RR Martin, ranging from fantasy to science fiction to horror to genre hybrids. Review: I am one of those readers who had never heard of George RR Martin before encountering A Game of Thrones, book one in his Song of Ice and Fire series. What I did not know is that Martin has had a prolific career as a short story writer, primarily in the genre of science fiction. Dreamsongs Volume 1 includes some…

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Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset (Translated by Arthur G. Chater)

Synopsis: Callously ravished by the man she hoped to love, an 11th Century Norwegian woman shapes her life around dreams of vengeance. Review: Gunnar’s Daughter is an early novel from the Sigrid Undset, author of the Nobel Prize-winning Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, and it is no less of a powerful, shocking work not just for a book set in medieval Norway, but for a book written at the beginning of the 20th Century. Share on Facebook

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Extras by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis: Aya’s city runs on fame, and she’s desperate to find a story to send out over her personal feed in order to crack the top 1,000 and get all her heart desires. Review: Extras is a follow up to Scott Westerfeld’s acclaimed trilogy: Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, which follow Tally Youngblood through a series of escalating body and mind modifications that basically turn her into a superhero. 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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Grub by Elise Blackwell

Synopsis: The trials and travails of a group of young New York City-based novelists. Review: Grub is a reworking of a 19th Century novel. I can’t speak to its success in that regard because I haven’t read the original, but I will say that author Elise Blackwell pulls off a rare bird: a satire brimming with humanism. I enjoyed every line of this book, which reminded me at times of Whit Stillman’s marvelous first feature Metropolitan. This is a galley I’ll be keeping, rereading, and…

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Emperor and Clown by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Now married to the cursed Sultan Azak, Princess Inos finally heads to the capital city to plead her case in front of the wardens, as stable boy Rap rushes to meet her and embrace his destiny. Review: (Is that like the worst cover you have ever seen? Seriously.) Emperor and Clown is the final installment in Dave Duncan’s A Man of His Word series, and a most satisfying conclusion indeed. The overall story is a rich, satisfying adventure full of political machinations and romance,…

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Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Synopsis: Schoolteacher Dunstan Ramsay looks back over his life, intertwined with that of a childhood friend and inextricably linked with a madwoman he desperately wants to believe is a saint. Review: I had no idea what I was in for when I began Fifth Business, the first book in Canadian novelist Robertson Davies’s Deptford trilogy. I have an older paperback and the copy on the back just says, “the story of a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the…

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