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Book Reviews by Title - G (47)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jane Gardam
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933372-76-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 195pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Olive Mullet
For fans of Jane Gardam’s Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat, God on the Rocks, a 1978 Booker Prize finalist, will satisfy. As Gardam wrote in the November 20, 2010 Op-Ed article “Richard’s Glove, Kate’s Hand” (which gives an historical perspective to Kate and Prince William’s upcoming wedding), “In my novels I write about the ‘old world,’ my parents’ world, where people wore hats—and gloves.” But “the old world is not so far away from this one.” Therefore, this novel, set along the northern English coast in 1938, between the world wars, is not chronological but jumps back and forth between different characters’ perspectives and pasts. In a book both humorous and tragic, the reader has to read carefully to notice switches in perspective and Gardam’s parceling out of information during the unfolding of fully defined lives.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Valerie Fioravanti
  • Date Published December 2012
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 188pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Garbage Night at the Opera is writer Valerie Fioravanti’s debut short story collection. Set in Brooklyn, New York, the book follows the trajectory of two successive generations of a large family of Italian descent. At the heart of the family are several sisters who, as they enter adulthood, live on and raise their own families in the building where they grew up. The sisters appear and reappear throughout the stories in the many roles their lives demand of them: as sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, and so on. Tracking the family tree through the book’s jumble of characters and relationships can be difficult at times, but this is fortunately not necessary to the understanding of the story lines.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by William Tod Seabrook
  • Date Published September 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-09828957-6-4
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 36pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Few American lives are as well documented as J. Robert Oppenheimer’s (1904-1967). The FBI kept files on “The Father of the Atomic Bomb” from 1941 (when he joined The Manhattan Project) up until the year before his death. Far more insight into the theoretical physicist’s controversial life and work is found in biographies by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (their American Prometheus won the Pulitzer Prize) and scientist/historian Abraham Pais (J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life). Politicians, military leaders, activists, and religious fanatics have exploited Oppenheimer’s legacy, but few can explain its ramifications better than Richard Rhodes did in his Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ladislav Klíma
  • Translated From Czech
  • by Marek Tomin
  • Date Published November 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-808626439-4
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 128pp
  • Price $15.80
  • Review by Holly Zemsta
The turbulent life of Czech writer Ladislav Klíma is echoed in one of his works of fiction, Glorious Nemesis. Born in 1878 in Bohemia (today the Czech Republic), Klíma was expelled from school in 1895 after ostensibly insulting the ruling Hapsburgs. From then on, he rejected most aspects of a traditional life, shunning regular employment to live off of inheritance money and publishing royalties. Before he died of tuberculosis in 1928, he destroyed a reputed 90% of his own manuscripts. A great deal of what he wrote was published posthumously.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Emily Kendal Frey
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-880834-94-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 61pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Alissa Fleck
Emily Kendal Frey toys with the utmost minimalism in The Grief Performance. In the first section of the book, her poems strongly favor striking imagery over narrative with—at-times cryptic—snapshot poems consisting of very short lines and frequent line breaks. The images are nonetheless powerful, always expanding unconventionally on a telling title, including six pieces entitled “The End.” Death is, pertinently, the great equalizer in Frey’s poems: “Then you die / in the big wooden chest of glory / alone,” she writes in “Meditation on a Meditation of Frost” and “We’re all going / to the same place” in “The March.”
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