Blogroll

Book Review: Human Acts by Han Kang

Translated literature offers an opportunity rarely seen in American literature. We know America, we grew up here, we reflect — if not create — its culture. Books from other countries allow us to go someplace that is, by definition, alien. They can immerse us in the country’s culture and let us see life from a […]

Book Review: The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare

There is a place where the literary world and the gaming industry intersect. It’s the Nobel Prizes. Once again this year you can place bets on who is going to win the Literature Prize.

Once again, Albanian author Ismail Kadare is considered a contender. As of this review, he’s one of three authors listed at […]

A personal challenge to read the world

I gave up on book challenges a year or so ago. Part of it stemmed from the fact that, as I’ve said earlier this year, I want to read what I want to read when I feel like reading it. While I still let a few book reviews impact that, I’ve stuck pretty close to […]

Book Review: The Investigation by Phillipe Claudel

Kafkaesque. It’s one of a handful of literary terms that is really overworked. But I challenge anyone to read Phillipe Claudel’s The Investigation without that word coming to mind. Ultimately, though, Claudel adds a surrealistic resolution that may baffle readers.

Claudel’s book tells of the Investigator, sent to an unnamed city to investigate a series […]

Book Review: The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet

Those who study literary theory view World War I as a key element in the development of modernist literature. And while French author Raymond Radiguet published only one novel before his death at age 20, that work, The Devil in the Flesh, is a prime piece of evidence for this viewpoint.

It’s not surprising that […]

Book Review: The Druggist of Auschwitz by Dieter Schlesak

“A human being, like a dog, can get used to anything!”

So says Adam Salmen, a fictional narrator in Dieter Schlesak’s The Druggist of Auschwitz: A Documentary Novel. But what Salmen and others imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II got “used to” is staggering, so much so that it continues to […]