The Lip of the Grave: On “Imagine Me Gone” by Adam Haslett.

Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett’s second novel, achieves something difficult: it manages to dramatize depression and mental illness without being tiresome, fatuous, or boring. The novel opens in the mind of John, an Englishman who suffers from the something he calls the “monster.” When John had been hospitalized for depression, Margaret, his American girlfriend at […]

Two Recent Reviews.

This summer has brought a couple more book reviews o’ mine: Over at The Colorado Review, my review of Diego Zuñiga’s short first novel, Camanchaca, has been posted. A Chilean, Zuñiga has published a novel whose ending and style remind me a bit of fellow Chilean Álvaro Bisama’s Dead Stars (which I reviewed a while […]

New review of an old fave.

Slightly late to posting: my review of Javier Marías latest novel, Thus Bad Begins went live awhile back at Literal Magazine. I have written about Marías before, having reviewed his penultimate novel, The Infatuations, for The Millions. Here’s how my review starts, picking up on a line I had mentioned in my review of The […]

Review of “Fever Dream” at Literal Magazine.

My review of Samanta Schweblin’s skin-crawlingly creepy Fever Dream is now live at Literal Magazine. My review, in a snippet: For Fever Dream is truly less a dream and more a nightmare, although the kind that—like the best of horror—you cannot help but wanting to see through. In a happy coincidence, the book was named to […]

Review of “Bad Faith” by Theodore Wheeler.

My review of Bad Faith by Ted Wheeler has gone live over at Necessary Fiction. A bit: Most of the characters in Bad Faith aren’t nice, and Wheeler plumbs that not-niceness throughout. The Pythagoreans talked of good as definite and finite, and evil and indefinite and infinite. Niceness may make for a slogan, and a friendly face to provide […]

My review of “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Days.”

My review of Salman Rushdie’s latest novel is online at the Lincoln Journal-Star and in today’s (Sunday’s) paper. It starts: In all that has been written about him, no one has accused Salman Rushdie of lacking imagination. The author of the Booker Prize-winning “Midnight’s Children,” one of the past century’s great novels, as well as “The […]

Review of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North.”

My review of Richard Flanagan’s Man Book Prize-Winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, is in today’s paper and is also online here. A bit: Dorrigo Evans is considered by everyone— except himself — to be a war hero. A physician, he becomes the de facto leader of his fellow Australian POWs who […]

Review of “Dead Stars.”

My review of Álvaro Bisama’s novel Dead Stars is now live over at Necessary Fiction. Here’s how it begins: Imagine if W.G. Sebald numbered his paragraphs. Imagine if he shucked many of those long, discursive takes on architecture and history. And imagine he abandoned his peripatetic plots and instead wrote about doomed and melancholy lovers. […]

Updated publications.

I’ve updated my list of recent / upcoming publications, in case you’re looking for a review I’ve recently written. I have been fairly active lately—with only more coming out pretty soon (including a judgment).

“The Darkness is Deep Indeed”: Essay on Javier Marias.

My essay on Spanish writer Javier Marías has gone live at The Millions. It’s also a review of his latest novel, The Infatuations, which was just released this past Tuesday (August 11). The very short and very rough version of the essay: Marías is brilliant, and the book is brilliant, and you should read it. […]