Book Review: Enigmatic Pilot by Kris Saknussemm

Perhaps book reviewers are meant to relegate themselves to commenting on what’s inside a book. Yet there are times the publishing process plays a role in a book. Unfortunately, that process damages Kris Saknussemm’s latest novel, Enigmatic Pilot: A Tall Tale Too True. (Full disclosure: Saknussemm is a “Facebook Friend” of mine but I know […]

Microreview: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is one of the most innovative books I’ve read. The problem it creates for him is that it sets a pretty high bar in the minds of many readers, myself included. So, let’s start with the fact that his latest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, isn’t another Cloud […]

Book Review: Wolf Among Wolves by Hans Fallada

In his Philosophical Dictionary, Voltaire distinguished between history and fable. The former, he said, is “the recital of facts represented as true” whereas fable is “the recital of facts of facts represented as fiction.” In terms of historiography, that is a fair distinction. In terms of grasping history, though, fiction may be as effective as […]

Book Review: Looking for the Summer by Robert W. Norris

Sociologists may debate the question but popular belief certainly holds that baby boomers, for whatever reason, were preoccupied with a search for enlightenment. While much of it was domestic exploration of Eastern culture and religions, so many Americans and Europeans journeyed from Europe through places like Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan on their way to India […]

Microreview: Brodeck by Philippe Claudel

“I had nothing to do with it.”

That’s what the title character says in the opening sentence of Philippe Claudel’s novel Brodeck. And while Brodeck is right, he has been given the task of detailing how the small village in which he lives felt it had no choice but to kill an outsider.

There are […]