GIVE ME YOUR HEART by Joyce Carol Oates

GIVE ME YOUR HEART, the newest collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, shimmers with violence, actual or imagined. Reading these stories is like hearing footsteps in your home when you know you’re the only one there. They’re like seeing something impossible out of the corner of your eye and being sure that you’ve seen it no matter what your rational self tells you. The stories make your heart race and your eyes open wide in horror. They do not come to us gently. Joyce Carol Oates grabs the reader and pulls him into her unique vision where fear, panic, tension, death, love and murder prevail, often simultaneously. These are horror stories without any element of the super-natural. She’s the real McCoy of this genre.

January 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Horror, Psychological Suspense, Short Stories, y Award Winning Author

PORTOBELLO by Ruth Rendell

Prolific mystery writer Ruth Rendell’s work can be divided into two categories: the Inspector Wexford novels and her psychological novels. PORTOBELLO falls into the latter category and fans of Ruth Rendell know what to expect. The novel concentrates on the poisoned lives of a handful of characters who are connected to London’s Portobello Road, and these characters are as varied and colourful as the district itself. Rendell brings her characters together with her usual skill–although the heavy reliance on coincidence argues against the idea that London is, after all, a city of millions of people.

November 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE COMPANION by Lorcan Roche

Trevor is a young Irishman in New York City. A film-school dropout with a checkered past, he is also a born storyteller whose life, both past and present, plays out in short takes of absurdity, abandonment, and aggression, with brief moments of wonder and wisdom thrown in — not an atypical first-time reaction to Manhattan. Voices speak to him in the soundtrack tones of James Mason or Bob Hoskins as he picks up the outtakes of his life from the cutting-room floor. And in calling him a born storyteller, I should also mention that he is one of the most unreliable narrators one is likely to encounter; most of the book will be spent distinguishing the truth from the falsehoods. As he himself admits: “We lie to protect. We lie to inure. To keep on going we have to lie.”

September 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, New York City

LEARNING TO LOSE by David Trueba

David Trueba has written an interesting intergenerational family saga translated from the Spanish by Mara Lethem. At nearly 600 pages, this book is truly a tome. LEARNING TO LOSE follows the adventures of 16-year-old Sylvia, a high school student, her father Lorenzo, and her paternal grandfather, Leandro. The book is also about a professional soccer player named Ariel. The story is told in chapters that alternate between the perspectives of these four characters

June 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Family Matters, Reading Guide, Spain, Translated

JULIET, NAKED by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby novels translate well into film. Just think about HIGH FIDELITY and ABOUT A BOY, which have taken their place in the movie catalogs of many Hornby fans since their release. His latest work, JULIET NAKED, seems to possess the same potential. Well, the first scene does anyway, which would make a great opening shot: a forty-year-old Brit having his photo taken at a urinal in a Minneapolis club where his musical hero decided to stop writing songs in 1986. The photographer in this scene, Annie, has accompanied her – “Partner? Life Partner? Friend?” – of fifteen years, Duncan, to America. On a quasi-religious pilgrimage, they visit singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe’s points of interest – birthplace, career-ending urinal, and home of the beautiful woman who inspired Tucker’s greatest album, Juliet.

February 26, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Drift-of-Life, Humorous, y Award Winning Author