Category: Fiction

Jul 21 2019

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen was born in 1906 and thus grew up in Germany’s Weimar years. He published his first two novels after the Nazi takeover but before the war began. At first, his work as a scriptwriter for film studios in Munich made him exempt from the draft. Following a bomb attack, he went underground and …

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Jul 21 2019

The Night Manager by John Le Carré

The Night Manager by John Le Carré

Not quite 100 pages in on this one, I pronounced the Eight Deadly Words. Sorry, eponymous Jonathan. Even sorrier, Sophie, who lived and died some years before the main action, and who existed to give Jonathan regrets. And perhaps to show that the corrupt Egyptian brothers might be a darker shade of grey than the …

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Jul 19 2019

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos begins well outside of the Nigerian metropolis, at a hot and dirty army outpost somewhere in the Niger delta: oil country, but also rebel country. Serving under a corrupt colonel and terrorizing local people is not what Chike Ameobi signed up for the army to do. After twelve months as an officer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/19/welcome-to-lagos-by-chibundu-onuzo/

Apr 07 2019

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

Oh gosh, how to properly review this book without spoilers? It doesn’t help that the library copy I borrowed told me exactly what myth the entire narrative was hung from before I’d even turned on my Kindle. Let me just go over the synopsis before delving into my (likely unpopular) opinions. Gretel is a 32 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/07/everything-under-by-daisy-johnson/

Mar 23 2019

You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt

This is another novel whose story I could have easily wandered in and out of, with just a minor tweak or two. Sarah Zuckerman, the protagonist of You Are One of Them, works for an English-language newspaper in Moscow in the mid-1990s. My newspapers were in Budapest, and I didn’t relocate to Moscow for another …

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Mar 03 2019

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

My first reaction upon finishing this book was to e-mail the friend who’d sent it to me and ask if she was okay, primarily because this is the latest in a string of sexual assault revenge fantasies she’s been recommending to me. Fortunately, she is alright and the theme has been entirely coincidental, but Elmet …

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Feb 11 2019

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Y’all, that was delightful. Ngl, I totally pictured Bradley Cooper and JLaw in the roles (and had to suffer the cognitive dissonance of her being way too young to play Tiffany) but that aside, I was incredibly moved by this surprisingly gentle tale of lost love, mental illness and sports fandom. Pat Peoples is not …

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Dec 17 2018

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

I don’t think it’s possible to review The Favorite Sister without bringing up Jessica Knoll’s searing debut Luckiest Girl Alive. That book centered a female protagonist who was done being “nice”, to the consternation of a large number of readers. To the rest of us, TifAni FaNelli was a source of cathartic glee. TFS expands …

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Dec 07 2018

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Not every fantasy features swords and sorcery, though most of them involve a mythical creature of one sort or another. Amor Towles names his in the title: A Gentleman in Moscow. In midsummer 1922, following a brief trial, Count Alexander Rostov is not ordered immediately shot as a class enemy. It seems that senior Bolsheviks …

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Oct 17 2018

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

This book first came to my attention when work was doing coverage of the Edgars the year it was nominated for Best First Novel, but I deliberately chose another book on the slate because the blurb was equal parts attractive and repulsive to me. It sounded very much like rich white people problems, plus every …

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