Reviews Archives - Page 74 of 88 - The Millions

May 27, 2008

Indomitable Suffering: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun 1


More than once in Half of a Yellow Sun, the latest novel by the young Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a mother learns that her son has died. The causes are in plain sight and the deaths could not be a surprise. The novel is set during the brutal and lopsided civil war which rent […]

May 20, 2008

Cower, Hounds!: A Review of Roberto Bolaño’s Nazi Literature in the Americas 1


It must have appealed to Roberto Bolaño’s sense of irony that novels, rather than poems, won him his place in the contemporary pantheon. For Bolaño’s protagonists, (and, we can imagine, for Bolaño himself) poetry is the art that endures. Still, to read Amulet or By Night in Chile is to find oneself immersed in verse […]

May 4, 2008

The Early Days of Big Money: A Review of A. Alvarez’s The Biggest Game in Town 2


The poker craze may have peaked, but it was a big thing there for a bit. About five years ago, ESPN’s prominent televising of the World Series of Poker and the emergence and proliferation of online poker sites where amateur card sharps could test their skills against other players around the globe fueled an explosion […]

April 24, 2008

Call of the Wild: A Review of Peter Carey’s His Illegal Self 1


A kind of antipodean counterpart to E.L. Doctorow (and now, like Doctorow, a resident of New York), the Australian novelist Peter Carey seems able to do virtually anything on the page. A master of plot, character, setting, phrasing, point-of-view, description, and dialogue (among other things), Carey has published sprawling bildungsromans and swift-moving capers, real travelogues […]

April 21, 2008

Poetic Doubles: A Review of Jose Saramago’s The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis 2


Zach Brennan is staff writer for two health publications in Washington, D.C. The storyline is simple: a Portuguese physician and occasional poet, Ricardo Reis, returns to Portugal after sixteen years in Brazil. First he lives in a hotel and then he moves to an apartment. He loves two women, one is a chambermaid and the […]

April 14, 2008

A Classroom Dialogue in Iraqi Kurdistan: A Review of Ian Klaus’ Elvis Is Titanic 0


There is a particular conundrum about teaching one’s national history abroad – finding the fine line where intellectual honesty and nationalist interest overlap, without compromising one or subverting the other. Ian Klaus diplomatically negotiates that fine line in Elvis Is Titanic: Classroom Tales From The Other Iraq, his eloquent account of the year he spent […]

April 1, 2008

The Long Way Home: A Review of Paul Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express 0


The plan is simple. Get on the train in Boston, just like all those other folks heading to work, except when they get off, keep going. And going and going and going until you can’t go any more. You’ll end up in Patagonia, at the far tip of South America. Such is the conceit of […]

March 29, 2008

Generals and Soldiers: A Review of Rick Atkinson’s Day of Battle 0


I’ve expressed my admiration for Rick Atkinson’s books in the past. His Pulitzer-winning An Army at Dawn is a history of the Allied liberation of Northern Africa, told in a style that glides easily from the the humblest infantryman to the strategies of generals and presidents. He offers the reader a glimpse of what it […]

March 21, 2008

Spy Story: A Review of William Boyd’s Restless 2


When I picked up Restless, I expected the usual array of smart, twisted, unfortunate and hilarious characters that traditionally abound in William Boyd novels. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw instead. Boyd, it seems, opted for a new genre in his last novel. Restless is a mystery that unfolds in a series of […]

March 11, 2008

The Eye of the Beholder: A Review of Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children 5


According to John Updike’s “Rules for Reviewers,” critics review books, rather than reputations. Then again, most readers also expect reviewers to situate a book in its proper generic context, and here Charles Bock’s debut novel presents a sort of paradox. Beautiful Children’s burgeoning reputation – the unusual amount of attention it has garnered from media […]