October 31, 2011 |
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That's the moral of the story in "Bedbugs," a disturbing new novel by Ben H. Winters. The book chronicles the horrific events surrounding the Wendt family's move to a brownstone that is renting for an unbelievably low price in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. What appears idyllic soon turns into a creepy-crawly nightmare. The brownstone at 56 Cranberry St. is rented to the Wendts by a daffy old widow named Andrea Scharfstein, who lives on the ground floor.
April 10, 2011 |
Panorama A Novel H.G. Adler, translated from the German by Peter Filkins Random House: 454 pp., $26 Life is short and art is long, as the saying goes, but the sad fact is that a work of literature may not outlive its human author. Such was the apparent fate of the work of H.G. Adler. He was forced to wait decades before several of his novels saw print, and two of them remain unpublished long after his death in 1988. But, remarkably, Adler has been rediscovered by American publishers and readers, and his 1948 novel "Panorama" is now available in an English translation.
December 8, 2010 |
OK, so apart from those genuinely saintly souls sent by Providence as examples to the rest of us, is there anyone with a pulse in this country who wouldn't like to see Osama bin Laden dead? Should he yet fall into our hands, even this writer ? an implacable opponent of capital punishment ? sees no reason to take the evil SOB alive. That's the animating fantasy at the heart of Tom Clancy's sprawling but propulsive new thriller, "Dead or Alive," his 15th novel since he exploded like a cluster bomb onto bestseller lists with "The Hunt for Red October" in 1984.
November 28, 2011 |
What if we had the technology to miniaturize people and objects? That's the central premise behind "Micro" by "Jurassic Park's" Michael Crichton and "The Hot Zone's" Richard Preston. Crichton wrote one-third of "Micro" before his death in 2008 - which third seems largely irrelevant, as the entire novel functions as a well-oiled but oddly soulless machine. All of the edges have been sanded off of prose that is supremely functional and most of the workmanlike characters seem resigned to being transformed into actors on a movie screen.
June 8, 2012 |
There's a good chance you're familiar with Randy Pausch, a computer-science professor who delivered a poignant speech in September 2007 while he was dying of pancreatic cancer. It resulted in an incredible 2008 bestseller, "The Last Lecture," and a video that has racked up nearly 15-million views on YouTube. It's no surprise why so many people have been touched by Pausch. In the lecture and book, he exhibited incredible optimism, humor, courage, wisdom and charm in the face of an illness that took his life 10 months later.