Posts Tagged ‘5 Stars’
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Today Booklover Book Reviews is hosting the TLC Book Tour for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.
In the final days of December 2004, in a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods when her father is abducted by Russian forces. Fearing for her life, she flees with their neighbor Akhmed–a failed physician–to the bombed-out hospital, where Sonja, the one remaining doctor, treats a steady stream of wounded rebels and refugees and mourns her missing sister. Over the course of five dramatic days, Akhmed and Sonja reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness that unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate.
With The English Patient’s dramatic sweep and The Tiger’s Wife’s expert sense of place, Marra gives us a searing debut about the transcendent power of love in wartime, and how it can cause us to become greater than we ever thought possible. (Amazon)
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena deserves the adoration it has quickly garnered. It is stunning for many reasons, not least that it is the first published novel from author Anthony Marra, still in his twenties. The only recent parallel that comes to mind is the maturity of Jennifer duBois’ debut A Partial History of Lost Causes.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Levels of Life Synopsis
‘You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed…’
Julian Barnes’s new book is about ballooning, photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize described him as ‘an unparalleled magus of the heart’. This book confirms that opinion.
BOOK REVIEW by Tony Ziemek
First up let me declare an interest: I have read just about everything that Julian Barnes has published and am sad enough to have some books in both UK and US editions, because… I liked the covers. For me, there is something in the author’s voice that never fails to resonate and I’m clearly not alone. On www.julianbarnes.com there was an opportunity to buy limited editions of leather and cloth bound editions of Levels of Life for GBP 140 or GBP 260 (according to leather spec and numbering) but they were sold out within days (dammit).
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
In Corporeality, Hollis Seamon’s latest fiction collection, we meet the cat lady, the professor dealing with a plagiarist while coping with personal hardships, sibling rivalry of the unnaturally cursed kind, the dog that goes beyond everyday dog sense and scent to protect its owners. These are some of the eclectic characters and settings that make Corporeality irresistible and difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Like her preceding collection Body Work and mystery novel Flesh, this book is a testament to Seamon’s ample gifts as a storyteller. (B&N)
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Synopsis
One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place. (Audible)
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
The Street Sweeper Synopsis
How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.
From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing one another every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some stories survive to become history.
Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can’t locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who was a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A few blocks uptown, historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging from the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally, and perhaps even personally.
As these men try to survive in early-twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths — Lamont’s and Adam’s — lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Chicago to Auschwitz. (Amazon)
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Beautiful Ruins Synopsis
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.
And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.
What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. (more…)
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Today Booklover Book Reviews has the great pleasure of kicking off the TLC Book Tour for Adam Johnson’s bestselling title The Orphan Master’s Son.
The Orphan Master’s Son Synopsis
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”
In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. (Amazon)
The New York Times has described The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson as “a daring and remarkable novel”. The New Republic goes one step further saying,
“Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master’s Son must now be added.”
Rarely can a title live up to such high praise but this one does just that.