Review: Ragged Islands by Don Hannah

March 21, 2007 admin 0

Today, in January’s fiction section, contributing editor Cherie Thiessen reviews Ragged Islands by celebrated Canadian author and playwright, Don Hannah. Says Thiessen: The sustained mood of loneliness and longing also weaves a melancholy spell. Don’t read Ragged Islands to be entertained. Read it because you want to be moved and perhaps even just a little enlightened. The review is here.

Review: The Albanian Affairs by Susana Fortes

March 12, 2007 admin 0

Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Pedro Blas Gonzalez reviews The Albanaian Affairs, the first English translation for Susan Fortes: Novels set in totalitarian countries always possess a closed-room, double morality ethos that few people in open societies can begin to imagine. These works depict a bare bones realism that more often than not is nothing less than a test of survival. According to Gonzalez, this runner-up for the Planeta Award for Fiction […]

Review: Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster

March 5, 2007 admin 0

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. […]

Review: Be Mine by Laura Kasischke

February 26, 2007 admin 1

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 […]

Review: Killing Johnny Fry by Walter Mosley

February 20, 2007 admin 0

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 […]

Review: Beyond the Blue by Andrea MacPherson

February 12, 2007 admin 0

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 […]

Review: Don’t Make Me Stop Now

January 30, 2007 admin 0

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 […]

Review: Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon

January 22, 2007 admin 0

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.

Review: Rain Before Morning by Michael Poole

January 17, 2007 admin 0

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.