Category: Fiction

Softcore by Tirdad Zolghadr

Softcore by Tordad Zolghadr

In Softcore a first-person narrator, annoyingly also named Tirday Zolghadr, relates the weeks and days before the opening of a new and arty nightclub in contemporary Tehran, interspersed with his remembrances of earlier times in and around Iran’s capital city. The book has some funny bits, such as a running gag about the splittist tendencies …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/27/softcore-by-tirdad-zolghadr/

Die Leiden des jungen Werthers by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Die Leiden des jungen Werthers by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Finally reading The Sorrows of Young Werther closes a gap in my education as a German major, a mere thirty years or so after I earned my degree. Because my institution only had two professors of German, an upper-level course in Goethe was only offered periodically. And the one time it was offered when I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/15/die-leiden-des-jungen-werthers-by-johann-wolfgang-von-goethe/

Das Haus an der Moskwa by Yuri Trifonov

Das Haus an der Moskwa by Yuri Trifonov

Das Haus an der Moskwa, known in English as The House on the Embankment and with the original title Дом на набережной, poses a question that it doesn’t really answer, or at least not directly. On a hot August day in 1972 Vadim Glebow has traveled out to a distant corner of Moscow to get …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/13/das-haus-an-der-moskwa-by-yuri-trifonov/

Heisser Sommer by Uwe Timm

Heisser Sommer by Uwe Timm

I came to Heisser Sommer prepared not to like it. A book by a male author in his forties, looking back on his glorious youth twenty years previous. That Timm chose not to use quotation marks for characters’ speech added to my annoyance. Worse, it’s set in the overexposed late 1960s, featuring a male protagonist …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/07/heisser-sommer-by-uwe-timm/

Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal

Oof, this is a gut punch of a book, that tackles not only how racism affects high school athletes but also how relationships fade away as graduation and college loom nearer. Eleanor “Leni” Greenberg and Chanel “Nelly” Irons are best friends and members of their high school’s competitive cheerleading team. In the summer leading up …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/08/why-we-fly-by-kimberly-jones-gilly-segal/

The Man Who Walked Through Walls by Marcel Aymé

The Man Who Walked Through Walls by Marcel Aymé

I wish I could remember who recommended The Man Who Walked Through Walls to me, I owe them a great big thank you. It’s a book I would never have found on my own, and I was completely charmed. The Man Who Walked Through Walls was originally published in French in 1943, reprinting stories that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/03/12/the-man-who-walked-through-walls-by-marcel-ayme/

Say Goodbye by Lewis Shiner (Encore)

While skittling down a different Wikipedia rabbit hole, I came upon the name of Skip Spence. He is rather obviously the model for “the legendary Skip Shaw” in Say Goodbye, where Shaw is Laurie Moss’ love interest and one of her principal antagonists. (The other two, I would say, are Laurie herself and the structure …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/28/say-goodbye-by-lewis-shiner-encore/

Say Goodbye by Lewis Shiner

Say Goodbye by Lewis Shiner

Twenty years before his magnum opus on life and music and bands and fame, Lewis Shiner published Say Goodbye a shorter novel on the same themes, set in the mid-1990s rather than the 1960s. The books share more than just themes: Laurie Moss, the central character of Say Goodbye is the daughter of Mike Moss, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/01/21/say-goodbye-by-lewis-shiner/

The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

There are some interesting set pieces and arresting imagery in this modern-day tale of witches on a remote southern island, tied by bonds of blood and love. You definitely get the idea that some of these scenes sprang into Paige Crutcher’s head fully formed, so viscerally and lovingly are they depicted. Alas, that’s about all …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/22/the-orphan-witch-by-paige-crutcher/

North by Brad Kessler

I read a lot of books where I praise the empathy displayed, but after reading Brad Kessler’s brilliant North, I realized that there’s another, rarer quality I appreciate even more in writing: the quality of compassion. It’s one thing to understand where another person’s pain is coming from, to find common ground no matter how …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/14/north-by-brad-kessler/