Archive for January, 2011
EXTRA INDIANS, the latest tour de force from Eric Gansworth, is a rollicking, engrossing, and big-hearted novel that defies expectations at every hair-raising turn.
Tommy Jack McMorsey â€“ a West Texas flatlands native, Vietnam vet, flawed husband and father, and long haul driver â€“ travels from Texas to northern Minnesota annually to watch the meteor showers and wish upon the stars. But on one cold night, he chances upon a deluded Japanese tourist who is searching for the buried ransom money from the Coen brothersâ€™ movie Fargo. When she wanders off and dies of exposure, McMorsey finds himself thrust into the spotlight of an intrusive media campaign, dredging up ghosts from his past.
Wow! This quotation should indicate why I both reveled in this rich and wonderful book and yet had such trouble getting through it. It was my first Fuentes, and may or may not be typical of his earlier style, but it is original, gloriously baroque, and alarmingly dense.
UNBROKEN by Lauren Hillenbrand, is the inspirational story of a courageous and resilient man, Louis Silvie Zamperini who, after flying a series of dangerous missions during World War II, spent over forty days stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a life raft with two of his buddies. They were scorched by the sun, buffeted by storms, and subsisted on a minuscule amount of food and water. Subsequently, Zamperini was captured and interned in a series of brutal Japanese POW camps where he was treated mercilessly by his sadistic captors. Miraculously, he emerged, battered and emaciated, but still alive. Little did he know that some of his biggest battles still lay ahead.
In this terse and bold book of eight interconnected stories featuring Fort Hood army wives, breakout author Siobhan Fallon invites readers to peek through the hazy base-house curtains into largely uncharted territory. She offers an intimate glimpse of the spouses and children left behind to cope when the men in the fictional infantry battalion of 1-7 Cav are deployed to Iraq.
In the period right after the first Gulf War, an uneasiness hung all over Kuwaitâ€”its residents forever waiting for Saddam Hussein to strike again. As an American expat in the country for five years around that same time period, author Anastasia Hobbet witnessed this unease first hand. It forms a perfect backdrop for her novel, Small Kingdoms, which tells the story of an assorted set of Kuwaiti and American characters.
In Hannah Pittardâ€™s absorbing THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY, missing children territory is mined again, and quite convincingly. Sixteen-year-old Nora vanishes one day and no one knows quite what happened. Whatâ€™s left is a series of rumors, imaginings, suspicions, and what-ifs from teenage boys whose lives she touched.