AltWeeklies Wire

'Bedlam South' is an Old War from a New Grishamnew

Mark Grisham (brother of John) and David Donaldson have a story they want to tell about the American Civil War, the birth of the practice of psychology in the United States and the hand of God in human affairs. That's a tall order for a debut set in a landscape already so thoroughly tunneled and trenched.
C-Ville Weekly  |  Elizabeth McCullough  |  09-17-2008  |  Fiction

'High Life' Surfs Waves of Bloody 'Gorno'new

A reprint edition of High Life is belatedly securing Matthew Stokoe's rank as either a literary assassin or putrid gore hound.
San Francisco Bay Guardian  |  Erik Morse  |  09-11-2008  |  Fiction

'What Happened to Anna K.' Reimagines Tolstoy's Heroine in Contemporary Queensnew

Irina Reyn, who teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, has taken the plot of Anna Karenina, based it in Queens, and turned it into a considerably shorter novel very much dependent on its present-day setting.
Pittsburgh City Paper  |  Adam Colman  |  09-08-2008  |  Fiction

Paul Auster's New Novel Ruminates on Post-9/11 Family Schismsnew

Auster's new novel ruminates on the fault lines and schisms within a marriage, a family and the landscape of post-9/11 America.
NOW Magazine  |  David Jager  |  09-08-2008  |  Fiction

'How to Live Single' Feels Like a 'Sex and the City' Knock Offnew

Liz Tuccillo's "fiction" lacks originality in characters and plot-but also appears to mirror her life. After a disastrous ladies' night out, Julie, who works for a publishing company, pitches the idea of writing a book on how to be single.
Shepherd Express  |  Kenya C. Evans  |  09-05-2008  |  Fiction

ZZ Packer's New Short Fiction Challenges Old Notions of Identitynew

It’s a tangle Packer addresses when she marks the border between the “Southerners” and “southerners.” “Southerners, in full possession of that capital ‘S,’ stroll through life with an unassailable sense of right and wrong,” she writes. “Right: chicken-fried steak, Jesus, zero taxation; wrong: vegetarianism, psychiatry, Birkenstocks. The ‘southerner,’ lowercase, does not stroll so much as simper.”
Charleston City Paper  |  Jon Santiago  |  09-04-2008  |  Fiction

Why is Andrew Pyper Wasting His Time on Thrillers?new

The bestselling Toronto author, who won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first novel, has immense talent, but you get the feeling he's taking the easy route churning out whodunits.
NOW Magazine  |  Susan G. Cole  |  09-02-2008  |  Fiction

P.J. Bracegirdle Gets Spooky in 'Fiendish Deeds'new

The book business has been buzzing like vultures over the fact that 9–12 year olds is the only demographic where reading is on the increase. Bracegirdle (his real name) is a witty, intelligent voice that reads like a not so bloodless Lemony Snicket.
Montreal Mirror  |  Juliet Waters  |  08-29-2008  |  Fiction

DC's Comic Series 'Trinity' Remains Addictivenew

As addictive as Trinity can be, this is one continuity-laden comic. Honestly, I'll probably keep reading it -- but I'll read it and weep. I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess.
Creative Loafing (Charlotte)  |  Carlton Hargro  |  08-27-2008  |  Fiction

Danit Brown's Debut Chronicles the Struggle to Find One's Placenew

Osnat Greenberg grew up in Israel, in a high-rise apartment overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Her mother is Israeli, her father is American, she has eight cousins and countless second cousins, and her crazy grandmother will only eat yellow food.(The old woman dies of gas poisoning when she forgets to turn off the stove.)
Charleston City Paper  |  Erica Jackson  |  08-27-2008  |  Fiction

'Kaleidoscope': Public Freaks and Private Dicksnew

Get your SAT vocabulary flash cards ready, 'cause Darryl Wimberley has a mystery for you to solve -- one involving a "caravanserai" and a "pan of loam."
San Antonio Current  |  Jeremy Martin  |  08-27-2008  |  Fiction

Food Plays a Starring Role in Russian Emigre's New Short Story Collectionnew

Food, like music, can bring you back to a moment in time. For the cast of Broccoli, the smell and taste of spinach or memories of puffed rice help them relive their Russian past and hold on to a piece of their heritage.
Charleston City Paper  |  Alison Sher  |  08-20-2008  |  Fiction

Clyde Edgerton's Modesty Sells 'The Bible Salesman'new

Like Henry, his protagonist, Edgerton wants to sell you a story, and if you give him a few pages' worth of your time, you have little chance of resisting him.
INDY Week  |  Adam Sobsey  |  08-18-2008  |  Fiction

Americans Might Find it Hard to Enjoy a Novel About Men Who Hate Womennew

This is easily one of the worst books I've ever read. And bear in mind that I've read John Grisham. I've read the Sweet Valley Middle School, High School, and University books.
Charleston City Paper  |  Susan Cohen  |  08-13-2008  |  Fiction

Marc Acito's New Novel is a Fun, Easy Read for One Catty Couplenew

To give it a fair shot, Attack of the Theater People, a new novel about a gay musical lover, was assigned for review to a couple of hopelessly devoted theater people who, a decade ago, shared a script on the set of their college production of Oklahoma!, swapped silly jokes about chaps, and longed for each other amid the rolling thunder of papier-mâché tumbleweeds.
Charleston City Paper  |  Greg Hambrick and Shane Sears  |  08-13-2008  |  Fiction

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