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Book Reviews by Title - S (147)

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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Michael Burke
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-929355-50-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 180pp
  • Price $15
  • Review by Elizabeth Townsend
Johnny ‘Blue’ Heron is a private eye more interested in sex and alcohol than the steady job he could have with the local police. Blue is hired by George Fuller to trai his son to find out if the younger Fuller is having an affair. This deceptively simple job lands Blue in the middle of affairs, intrigue, incest, corruption, and some rather shady business deals. Blue comes off as cynical sort of fellow, believing that no one is quite what they appear to be (“Always thought I was a fake, but aren’t we all. We invent ourselves and defy the world to discover the ruse.”), but he is surprisingly unaware of some people’s darker sides.
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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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  • by Marv Gold
  • Date Published June 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-151-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Christina Hall
When I began reading this, I was expecting a biography, although a closer inspection of the subtitle, “A memoir,” should have clued me in that Silverstein and Me was not a typical biography. And how could it be? Marv Gold tells us “he was an outsider and a loner.” Silverstein only did two interviews in his lifetime, both to the same university magazine, one of which is included in its entirety in the memoir. Writing an “accurate” biography of someone completely open is complex as it is, but given the “recluse” status that Silverstein earned while he was alive would make writing his life story utterly impossible. But Gold does a fantastic job of evoking Silverstein through his anecdotes, and we are able to get to know the famous author through Gold’s words as well as anyone probably could have.
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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 Margot Berwin
  • Date Published November 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0307949813
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Michael Caylo-Baradi
This novel’s title and cover image, of reddish curls of smoke, inspires assumptions that another vampire story is lurking in our midst, quietly digging its fangs on an ever-crowded genre dominated by pale, gorgeous characters, 500-year-old blood-suckers whose sense of smell defies any human standard of keenness. In the novel’s first paragraph, the narrator’s revelation of a loss—of “something very special . . . running through [her] veins like a blessing, or a plague”—appears to support that impression, that perhaps she is referring to properties in her blood, of being trapped in the vacuum of eternity itself. Even the narrator’s name—Eva—has strong kinship to blood, old blood, the origin of blood, fallen, cast away from innocence, purity. It’s hard to say where our impression of vampires eventually fades in the story; Margot Berwin’s canvas is filled with shadows, quiet rooms with creaky doors, cloudy skies, and lonely roads, whether Eva is in the mountaintop town of Cyril, New York where her grandmother Louise lives, or in the tropical weather of New Orleans, where Eva shacks up with her boyfriend Gabriel after Louise—an aromata, a master creator of scent—passes away.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Hailey Leithauser
  • Date Published October 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55597-657-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
“If it could speak it would offer / you excess; it would / offer you more.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Micah Ling
  • Date Published November 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934513-25-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 58pp
  • Price $13.00
  • Review by Chey Davis
I am convinced this will end well,
That it will not be too late,
That it will take place without witnesses.
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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 Fiction
  • by Ellen Airgood
  • Date Published June 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59448-793-4
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 384pp
  • Price $25.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Ellen Airgood’s debut novel South of Superior is categorized first under “self-realization in women” and secondly under “Michigan Fiction.” Such categories never tell the full story. Certainly there is a female main character, but she is for much of the book unsympathetic and certainly not a superwoman, and the novel’s delight is in the realism of all the vividly portrayed characters and of Michigan life in a place like Grand Marais, here renamed McAllaster. All Michiganders (not just women) should relish this book for the reliving of this state’s recognizable features and lifestyles.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Eileen Myles
  • Date Published April 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933517-58-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
Eileen Myles hides the trout. She’s at it again. This new double collection of poems from Wave Books in Seattle has everything readers of Myles adore in her work. All the wit, charm, honesty, sexiness, and surprises are here for another go-round. Yes, Myles has gotten older:
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