Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section: a review of Paul Auster’s 13th novel, Travels in the Scriptorium. Paul Auster’s 13th novel is almost wonderful. One gets the feeling that the author was reaching for something here, something he doesn’t quite attain. Part of the reason for this might be a simple lack of scope. The book is called Travels in the Scriptorium: A Novel. But that word — Novel — is misleading in this instance. […]
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Tony Buchsbaum reviews Be Mine, Laura Kasischke’s fourth novel for adults. (She’s also written half a dozen books of poetry and a novel for young adults.) Though Buchsbaum feels the novel starts out strongly enough, in the last third, he reports, things begin to fall apart. Fiction, while by design a lie, shouldn’t feel like one, but Be Mine does. It feels as if a horrible joke […]
Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, Tracy Quan looks at Killing Johnny Fry, Walter Mosley’s most controversial novel yet. Says Quan: When a national treasure like Walter Mosley decides to publish a dirty novel, snippy reactions are inevitable. Does a journey of sexual discovery have to be quite this filthy? But if Killing Johnny Fry were a novel one could read over lunch, it wouldn’t be authentic porn. Fans of Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series might […]
Today in the January Magazine fiction section, we look at Beyond the Blue, Andrea MacPherson’s second novel (after 2003’s When She Was Electric) and her fourth book. Beyond the Blue is set in Dundee, Scotland in 1918. Though there are quibbles, for the most part, it’s all thumbs up: I can’t imagine that any contemporary writer has done a better job of evoking the gray hopelessness of early 20th century urban Scotland, a time so […]
Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor David Abrams reviews a new collection of stories by Michael Parker, author of 2005’s If You Want Me to Stay. Though Don’t Make Me Stop Now is not without flaw, Abrams finds a lot to like: Haven’t we all been white-veined at some point in our lives? Parker knows the majority of us have gone through life staring at silent telephones, awkwardly shifting from foot to foot […]
Today in the January Magazine fiction section, contributing editor David Abrams looks at Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon’s first outing in a decade. “There is simply too much going on in Against the Day for readers to make an emotional connection with anything they encounter,” says Abrams. Read the full review here.
Today in the January Magazine fiction section, contributing editor Cherie Thiessen looks at Rain Before Morning by Michael Poole. It’s a classic love story that takes place around the time of WW I. Set in a remote settlement along Canada’s western coast, the author of Romancing Mary Jane here takes a credible first stab at fiction. The January review of Rain Before Morning is here.