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Book Reviews by Title - G (47)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Evelio Rosero
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Anne McLean and Anna Milsom
  • Date Published September 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8112-1930-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Prize-winning Colombian novelist Evelio Rosero has written a dark comedy in Good Offices. From the perspective of the hunchback Tancredo, a night of changes unfolds in a Catholic church in Bogota, Colombia. Tancredo has just finished his exhausting duties serving almost 100 unruly elderly and cleaning up when he is summoned to Father Almida’s office and learns of a crisis. Almida and the old sacristan Machedo have to be absent from the evening mass in order to persuade their sponsor to continue his bounty. Their last-minute replacement, Father Matamoros, enlivens the mass and congregation with his beautiful voice. Secrets come out, and not just the passion between Tancredo and the sacristan’s goddaughter, Sabrina. The real revelations are the corruption and abuses of Father Almida and the sacristan. The loving spirit of Father Matamoros seems an apt replacement; except, he too has his faults, noticeably alcoholism.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Ice Gayle Johnson, Jane Ormerod, Brant Lyon, Thomas Fucaloro
  • Date Published September 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0979979231
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Aimee Nicole
Spoken word is powerful not only in language, but also performance. It can be difficult to capture the essence and emotion on the page; however, the writers in –gape–seed– have done just that. The diverse selection of poetry made it difficult to choose the best writers as each distinct piece had punch and power. At first I was wary; making a successful anthology of spoken word seemed like a tall order, but –gape–seed– inspired me to really feel the language as opposed to just reading it.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Timothy O'Keefe
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9324404-02
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 76pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Alissa Fleck
Timothy O’Keefe’s The Goodbye Town is brimming with small, intricate images, stacked piecemeal upon one another to create the brilliant and sensuous world of each individual poem. Space is not only put to remarkable use by the poet in a structural sense, but is a complex recurrent theme as well. The occupation of space and—conversely—absence, are ever-present throughout O’Keefe’s work. The poems’ people are shadows and outlines or fleeting memories captivated only by the noises they produce.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Garrett Socol
  • Date Published December 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9841025-7-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Kirsten McIlvenna
The title to Garrett Socol’s fiction book, Gathered Here Together, at first may be reminiscent of the phrase shared at the beginning of a wedding ceremony, but as soon as you dive into the first few stories, it is clear that the people are gathered for funerals. In fact, the short story from which the book gets its title is a story about a woman flying home for the funeral of her best friend. The tie that links the collection together is the theme of death; even when you think it is going to be a great love story, death creeps up, just as death creeps up on us in real life. The book explores the different ways that death, the fear of death, or the consequences of death can turn life in new directions.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by J.M. Tohline
  • Date Published June 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9845105-5-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 204pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Maybe women saw Lenore and despised her at first, because she was lovely to such an unfair degree. But they met her, and she was the opposite of any negative attribute they could possibly have ascribed her. She was everything they wanted her to be, and she was everything they wanted to be themselves.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Muriel Barbery
  • Translated From French
  • by Alison Anderson
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1933372952
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 160pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
Gourmet Rhapsody, Muriel Barbery’s slim but savory novel, is like poetry served on a platter – filled with dazzling and delicious language. The story begins with the world’s most famous (and most despised) food critic realizing that he will die in 48 hours. Monsieur Pierre Arthens lives in Paris, in the building immortalized in Barbery’s first novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Donald Anderson
  • Date Published September 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-111-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 226pp
  • Price $21.00
  • Review by Cheryl Wright-Watkins
In his author’s note at the beginning of his book, Donald Anderson writes: “I concern myself in this book with matters of war, race, religion, memory, illness, and family, sources of humor and horror. And: boxing, which has been reported in literature from Homer on.” This diverse list prepares the reader for the book’s numerous intersecting threads of themes and topics. Boxing stands alone here, because in addition to being a theme for rumination, its images of bobbing and weaving, punching and ducking describe the book’s structure. As the title suggests, this memoir is not a linear narrative but a chronological series of memories, quotes, and data, some related and some seemingly random, that trace the writer’s life from his birth in Butte, Montana in 1946 to his current life as director of the creative writing program at the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Keith Taylor and Laura Kasischke
  • Date Published September 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0814334744
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 212pp
  • Price $18.95
  • Review by Ryan Wilson
When we think about North American geography and ghost stories, the Midwest United States feels somewhat lacking. Maybe that’s because we think of the region historically as merely a way toward somewhere else, and thus any good haunting it might have acquired also feels ephemeral. Ghosts also require a decent amount of tragedy. The East has its colonies and its Puritanical roots based in part on superstitions. The South, of course, has its own tragic pillar of slavery and its gothic aftermath. Even the West has plenty of dead and displaced Native Americans. So the Midwest would seem to need its own man-made disaster to birth some spirits.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ida Stewart
  • Date Published August 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-979458248
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 84pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
Musical and deeply rooted in a sense of place, Ida Stewart’s debut poetry collection highlights the essential element of sound within contemporary poetry. In a series of free verse poems that engage with the lyric quality of traditional nature poetry, Stewart delves beyond a simple examination of nature; instead, nature ties into a sense of past and place, ever-present in the depths of memory. Set within the concrete of ground, the minuteness of soil, Gloss condenses language to its potential as rich medium for the human voice and soul.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Etgar Keret
  • Date Published April 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0374531058
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Matt Bell
For many American readers, Etgar Keret’s 2006 collection The Nimrod Flipout was the book that first introduced them to this excellent Israeli writer. With his short, fable-like stories combining a fantastical whimsy with the political and social realities of the Middle East, Keret’s stories felt like they burst onto the scene from nowhere, while in reality it was his second American book taken from the five collections already published in Israel. Like its predecessors, The Girl on the Fridge contains a wealth of Keret’s short stories, including some that will truly amaze the reader at how much power he can pack into a two- or three-page story, or, even more impressively, into a one-paragraph story, like the opener “Asthma Attack,” quoted here in its entirety:
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