Archive for October, 2011
Anne Enright, author of the 2007 Booker Prize winner, THE GATHERING, has written a new novel called THE FORGOTTEN WALTZ. It is told from the point of view of Gina Moynihan who has a lust-filled affair with a married man, Sean Vallely. They first meet at a garden party hosted by Anneâ€™s sister Fiona, and progresses from there. At first there are innocent (and not so innocent) looks, and then on a business trip in Switzerland, the affair begins in earnest.
Yes, be careful. Be very careful. The eighteen women in this book write depth-charge stories with the power to disturb and detonate unseen. Do not be deceived by the bland and poorly-designed cover (which I hope is only temporary); none of these tales is ordinary, all are excellently crafted, and a few are exceptional. Joy Williams, in her excellent introduction, calls them “witty, spooky, disorienting, and artful.” They are all those, and also at some level deeply True.
ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead plays on the archetype of apocalyptic zombie literature. The unnamed protagonist is known as Mark Spitz, because he is afraid to swim. He is a sweeper, someone assigned by the pseudo-government in Buffalo to destroy any zombie AKA skel or catatonic victim AKA straggler of the plague that has destroyed civilization.
From the looks of it you could never tell that the beautiful Torres-Thompson home in fancy Laguna Rancho Estates, is on the cusp of unraveling. But look closely and you can see the edges of the tropical garden coming undone, the lawn not done just right; and these are merely the symptoms of greater troubles. For the couple Scott Torres and Maureen Thompson the countryâ€™s financial crisis has come knocking, even in their ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood.
George Baxter Henry is no paragon of virtue. In fact, he is a paradigm of vice, with a penchant for lustful young women. His marriage is on the rocks and his fractured family is falling apart. Connor Bowmanâ€™s novella after The Last Estate takes us back to the South of Franceâ€”this time Nice, but with an American protagonist. In this sinfully laugh-out-loud story about a wounded family trying to stitch itself back together, Bowman manages to make the reader care about these cross and querulous individuals who are headed on a grease skid to oblivion.
The Accident, the latest thriller from Linwood Barclay, is an exciting, quick and enjoyable read. The book is told primarily in the first person of Glen Garber, the owner of Garber Contracting, a small home construction company struggling in the current economy in Milford, Connecticut. Glen cannot believe or accept it when the police tell him his wife Sheila caused the death of herself and others while she was parked drunk the wrong way on an off ramp. Although everyone tells him he must accept his wife had a drinking problem, he just refuses to believe she did or would have driven while drunk. Things get only worse, when the other people killed in the accident file suit against him for failure to identify and act on his wife’s drinking problem that led to the accident.