Tag Archives: Satire

All Her Father’s Guns by James Warner

Synopsis: A right-wing gun lover falls for a Lacanian psychoanalyst/Romanian emigrĂ© while trying to bring down his pharmaceutical-abusing ex-wife’s run for office, even as their daughter makes a decision that could destroy all of them. Review: “He had five sons by about nine different women” was the phrase that made me fall in love with the satire and humor of All Her Father’s Guns. James Warner’s ability to spin a sentence in an unexpected direction would make this book a crazy wild ride even if…

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Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn

Synopsis: MILFs in Brooklyn! Review: Amy Sohn is a writer who’s been on my radar since I first moved to New York City in 1995, and it’s like she’s lived the public, more successful version of my life. Her single girl escapades got published in the New York Press; I was an escapading single girl who read the Press every week. She wrote a novel loosely based on her own life that got turned into a movie; I do movie adaptations of books whose writers…

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Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton

Synopsis: A married couple starts sending love emails to a popular public radio personality, leading to tragicomic results. Review: In Laura Rider’s Masterpiece, Oprah-blessed Jane Hamilton’s latest protagonist is a woman who dreams of being Jane Hamilton. Laura Rider is the owner of a midwestern garden center who’s been nurturing the fantasy of becoming a writer for ages. A chance meeting with new neighbor Jenna Faroli, the host of a “Fresh Air”-type show on public radio, gives Laura the impetus to take her dreams more…

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This One Is Mine by Maria Semple

Synopsis: A bored LA housewife falls into a flirtation with a scummy ex-junkie, while her sister-in-law sets about trapping a wealthy husband. Review: This One Is Mine cuts a lot deeper than my synopsis would imply. It’s not a trashy pulp beach read, but rather a scabrous dissection of the worst of human impulses, with a healthy dose of redemption thrown in at just the right time. In many ways, it reminds me of Elise Blackwell’s Grub, which I called a “satire brimming with humanism.”…

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Sunless by Gerard Donovan

Synopsis: Bereft and aimless, an ex-meth head signs up to test a new drug promising to cure anxiety of all kinds. Review: I picked up Sunless because it promised a Chuck Pahlaniuk-esque satirical romp through all the woes of our modern age, dressed up in off-kilter post-apocalyptic trappings and with an addictive prose style. Instead, I suffered through a lazily written, incoherently plotted, almost aggressively aimless stylistic exercise that I had to force myself to finish reading. Thankfully it’s not very long, so I could…

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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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