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Book Reviews by Title - S (141)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Juan Jose Saer
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Steve Dolph
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934824-20-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 220pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
The Sixty-Five Years of Washington by Juan Jose Saer flows like the walk it entails, divided into three sections of seven blocks each, in the Argentinian town of Rosario, taking place around 10 a.m. on October or November 1960 or 1961. On that day Angel Leto decides not to go to work and encounters The Mathematician, just back from his grand tour of Europe. The two men, different in important respects (class, town’s years of residency), nevertheless walk together for most of the distance, the Mathematician regaling his companion with accounts of Noriega Washington’s sixty-fifth birthday, a party to which neither man was invited.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Date Published September 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1555975678
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 176pp
  • Price $23.00
  • Review by C.J. Opperthauser
Ellis’s collection of poems, Skin, Inc, is an aggressive book to say the least. It is a statement in itself. A statement that is different and powerful. The language coursing through the veins of this collection is raw, real, and full of earnest emotion. It is calm, yet aggressive. Strong, yet tamed. One poem that really sets the tone for the first portion of the book is “My Meter Is Percussive”:
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Peter Kaufman
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-188-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 298pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
A fire sparked Peter Kaufman’s Skull in the Ashes: Murder, a Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence in America. On the evening of February 3, 1897, the Walford, Iowa General Store burned to the ground. Among the few recognizable items found in the rubble was a skull detached from a partial male skeleton. The assumption was that it was storeowner Frank Novak, who had been guarding his property following a rash of neighborhood burglaries.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Chris Green
  • Date Published 2007
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 78pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Roy Wang
The wonderings and wanderings of the maturing poet, recollected in elegy, self-deprecating humor, and moments of personal clarity seem to be a perennial favorite among Midwestern voices, and Chris Green’s first book clearly defines him as a champion of this mode. From his choice of puns and candid scenes to the obvious displays of technical skill and learning, Green exemplifies the ironies and neuroses that plague the writer who sees himself as Dante-prophet in the isolation of Midwest winters and towns. And his limits are as high as the skies over a Walgreens.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Selah Saterstrom
  • Date Published August 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-395-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 186pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Selah Saterstrom’s Slab opens with a gripe, or a warning, perhaps, that the play won’t start. But then it does, and from page one, the story takes off at a breakneck pace and proceeds with all the force of a hurricane.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Amy King
  • Date Published November 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1935402312
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 100pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Caroline Wilkinson
The epigram for Slaves to Do These Things brings up the quiet matter of love. In the poem that King quotes – Charles Baudelaire’s “Beauty” – the poet likens himself to “a dream of stone.” His hard breast is made to evoke love from other poets. This love, being “mute and noble as matter itself,” is one with the body it has inspired. In “Beauty,” the matter or subject of poetic love has merged with the matter or atoms of the body. The meeting place of atoms and ideas is familiar territory for King whose poems explore the line between the concrete and abstract. In King’s poetry, however, matters of all kinds – intellectual, material and political – are not always noble, and rarely are they mute.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Kirsten Kaschock
  • Date Published October 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-275-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 330pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
The creation of an entirely new form of performance art—drawing from modern dance, spoken word, and architecture—provides a provocative debut novel by Kirsten Kaschock. Sleight attempts to address the ever-pervasive issue of how art should function in and respond to the tragedies of the modern world. With an array of characters depicted in lyrical, short language, the novel unfolds in traditional from, small plays, word sequences, and boxes filled with words that experiment with the novel form in a self-reflective manner, allowing further introspection.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Maureen A. Sherbondy
  • Date Published 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59948-186-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 180pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by Rachel S. King
My poetry workshop recently concluded all poems are about loss. To a certain extent, all stories are too. Maureen Sherbondy’s short stories in The Slow Vanishing definitely follow this theme. The title is evidence, as are the stories inside. There are vanishing limbs, vanishing mothers, vanishing children, and vanishing commas. In many cases, Sherbondy literalizes an emotional loss. A husband doesn’t just feel like his wife is lost because she isn’t doing her normal routine; she actually is lost, and he has to deal with it. Parents don’t feel like they’ve lost their children when they head out on their own; the children actually fly away. This literalization is a wonderfully imaginative way to tell a story, as well as great way to raise crucial questions about life, and how it can be lived.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Anastasia Hobbet
  • Date Published January 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-57962-191-9
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 344pp
  • Price $29.00
  • Review by Alex Myers
Ever wondered about those Americans who take jobs in treacherous foreign countries? Ever wanted to know what it is like to move to the Middle East and try to fit in to conservative Islamic culture? Anastasia Hobbet’s novel Small Kingdoms answers these questions through its carefully structured narrative. Set in Kuwait after the first Gulf War, Small Kingdoms takes place in a region familiar to us from TV news broadcasts; Hobbet portrays the decadence and the difficulty of this country masterfully. The story follows five main characters: two American expatriates, one native Kuwaiti woman and her Indian maid, and one a Bedooin or resident alien, a Palestinian woman living in Kuwait. Hobbet constructs her book in short chapters, each following a single character, as these five individuals’ fates are drawn closer and closer together.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Jason Bredle
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9841406-1-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 76pp
  • Price $11.95
  • Review by C.J. Opperthauser
This is a book of poems by a man who has very obviously figured out the formula for casual speech, reconstructed it in his own manic way, and added a few pounds of both humor and serious commentary in the process. Smiles of the Unstoppable is a strange, unique collection that is narrative-driven and conversational. The words are not poetic in nature, really, but the flow, the careful repetitions, and the masterful line-breaks are evidence of a language-commander being behind the helm. The humor pulls the collection together. My favorite bit of humor is towards the end of the book, in a poem called “Night of the Jaguar,” in which Bredle lists a bunch of characteristics people share with jaguars:
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