Articles by Malcolm Forbes

September 18, 2015

Fictionalizing the Facts: On Lily Tuck’s ‘The Double Life of Liliane’ 0

After a fashion we stop questioning how much of what we are reading is memoir and how much of it isn’t, and simply surrender to the elegant, limpid prose.

January 28, 2015

The Existentialist Swimmer: Daniel Galera’s ‘Blood-Drenched Beard’ 0

Blood-Drenched Beard has at its center a fascinatingly headstrong character, one who swims perfectly but flounders on land, who strives for connection with his grandfather while cutting himself off from family — and one we root for despite not knowing his name.

May 24, 2012

Where the Heart Is: Toni Morrison’s Home 2

But for all its strengths, Home still falls short. This is partly due to its length. The result is a busy cast bursting with potential, but characters who are so hamstrung in their tight confinement, so seldom on the page, that their tales are only half-told.

May 4, 2012

The Mutability of Truth: An Interview with Patrick Flanery 2

Fiction that aspires to be something more than an entertainment commodity must, I think, ultimately be concerned with its own longevity, with the conversation it holds between itself and whatever has preceded it.

March 7, 2012

Fractured World: Hari Kunzru’s Gods Without Men 2

At its center are Jaz and Lisa Matharu, he Sikh, she Jewish, and their severely autistic son, Raj. When the boy vanishes in the Mojave Desert, the parents are eventually accused of murder. Around them, Kunzru weaves a fiendish web of plots and subplots. The effect is exhilarating.

November 9, 2010

Identity Crisis: William Boyd’s Ordinary Thunderstorms 0

We might scorn them but the two main rules of the thriller are incontestable: excitement is the drama of movement rather than stasis; and you can strain the reader’s credulity but don’t try our patience.