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Bertrand Court

Fortunately for us, though, Brafman has taken the leap of trusting us with this carefully crafted set of stories. There is something to appreciate on nearly every page.


Pull Me Under

Pull Me Under is a heart-wrenching, devastating read, in part because all of us, at least in some small way, possess a “black organ”—a sense of darkness threatening to make itself known.


Moonglow

Moonglow is a novel about faith in storytelling itself.


The Red Car: A Novel

With honesty and humor, The Red Car leads us to ask if we aren’t all just a little un-cherry.


33 Revolutions

In 33 Revolutions, there is at least the hope of escape. The USA—an unknown quantity, and perhaps as much of a fiction as Cuba—isn’t far, just a short, dangerous trip across choppy waters. There’s hope in that.


Judas

Oz pitches the book’s heartbreak and humanism perfectly from first page to last, as befits a writer who understands how vital a political role a novelist can play.


Cannibals in Love

If we appreciate how very well he writes, Mike Roberts rates as more than just a clever chronicler of 20-something mores. He’s an author from whom we should expect important work in years to come.


The Mothers: A Novel

The Mothers is a beautiful and precise portrayal of female friendship, first loves and societal expectations of black women.


The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel

Her lyricism still scatters light across the page, and her fragmented style hammers you with immediacy, but the story falls prey to nostalgia and wishful thinking.


Moonglow

Chabon has produced an excellent novel but not a great one.


The Wangs vs. the World

Jade Chang’s debut novel is full of smart one-liners and clever observations. It made me long to become pals with Chang, because she’s probably excellent at cocktail-party conversation and slandering one’s enemies in private. Plus, she can tell a damn good story.


Thus Bad Begins: A novel

I was reminded too that Marías is a master of a kind of suspense that is rare in the modern novel. He saves the best for the last. The question is whether you can get through the bad marriage first.


Mister Monkey

“Mister Monkey” itself, though, is gripping and engaging all the way through, the characters’ miseries as moving as their fierce attachments to hope and the possibility of unexpected mercies.


I'll Take You There

There’s a novel in here somewhere, buried under film trivia, corny commentary, a convoluted premise, and a 17-page article about the Miss Rheingold contest.


Speak Gigantular

Moonglow

Whether the characters are real or fiction, he certainly got me interested and kept my attention. Heartily recommended.


The Story of a Brief Marriage

The Story of a Brief Marriage is a strange, profound, mini-masterpiece of a novel.


Faithful: A Novel

A must-read for anyone looking for a little hope in their lives.


Swing Time

“Swing Time” is remarkably light on its feet, more entertaining than didactic. Smith’s humor is both sharp and sly as she skewers various targets, including humorless, petty social activists and celebrity culture’s inflated sense of importance.


Moonglow

The book is both a hotchpotch stroll down memory lane, and an exercise in exploring the slippery nature of truth, memory and what makes a compelling story.