Archive for September, 2010
Tim Thornton, the author of THE ALTERNATIVE HERO and DEATH OF AN UNSIGNED BAND springs from the Nick Hornby realm of fiction. Hornby, one of the most interesting British writers of his generation excels with the creation of the fictional disconnected male obsessive and his two great loves: music and sports. Now hereâ€™s Tim Thornton, and his wonderful, engaging and very funny book, The Alternative Hero. First the disclaimer: if you donâ€™t like music, then go away you boring person. But if youâ€™re like me and connect various episodes of your misspent youth with the music of the day (whatever era that may be), then thereâ€™s an excellent chance that you may enjoy this book–the tale of a thirty-something who never really got over the carefree days of concerts, music memorabilia, and the unrestrained hero worship of a rock musician.
ANDROID KARENINA is one of those everything but the kitchen sink science fiction tales (robots, telepathy, strange creatures, threats from outer space and time travel) with the added benefit of being a literary mash-up. Ben H. Winters has transplanted the characters from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel ANNA KARENINA into a culture dependent upon technology to serve their every need.
If youâ€™re a fan of Italian crime fiction, then reading Massimo Carlotto is a necessity. This author dubbed the â€śking of Mediterranean Noirâ€ť creates bleak worlds in which his Nietzschean anti-heroes struggle to survive.
BANDIT LOVE has the feel of a buddy novel, but the relationship of those buddies is entrenched in past lives of crime. The buddies in the novel are ex-con turned unlicensed PI Marco Burrati (aka the Alligator), gangster Beniamino Rossini, and Max la Memoria (Max the Memory). Burrati and Max, now trying to go straight, are co-owners of a bar named La Cuccia, and here Max the Memory (also known as the Fat Man) endlessly cooks his favourite recipes.
Although Justin Caves is a grown man now, one incident from his childhood in Oregon regularly returns to haunt him: he once comes face-to-face with a wounded bear in the woods outside his house. Worse, his father encourages him not to be a â€śpantywaistâ€ť but to aim his rifle carefully and shoot it. The all-consuming terror and helplessness he felt then, has never gone away.
Another autumn descends and another Quarry novel is on the shelf. These are good times to be a reader. With four Quarry Novels in five years, Max Allan Collins can almost be forgiven for the 20-year gap in the series from the mid 80s to the mid 00s.
This time Quarry, a former hitman for the mob who has turned freelance, is on the set of a low budget biker movie in the late 70s. Heâ€™s trying to protect the director, Art Stockwell, from an inevitable assassination attempt. He is also trying to find out who put the contract out on Stockwellâ€™s life. Among the suspects are a Chicago mob boss and Stockwellâ€™s nearly-estranged wife who also happens to be Quarryâ€™s fully-estranged ex-wife. This situation proves to be the first socially awkward moment in the hitmanâ€™s career.
An American living in Cambridge, England, Winslow sets her first novel of psychological suspense at Cambridge and tells it through five successive narrators, each harboring secrets.
Polly, a New Hampshire girl, opens things up. She and a British student, Nick, have a romantic encounter, which she violently rejects, although sheâ€™s clearly thrilled at the same time.