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Book Reviews by Title - W (81)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Brian Evenson
  • Date Published June 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-298-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 176pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Paul Pedroza
Brian Evenson’s latest collection toes the line between genre and so-called literary fiction and between a recognizable world and new dimensions. Those familiar with his previous work won’t be surprised, as Evenson frequently does this; however, this certainly isn’t a run-of-the-mill collection.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Brian Henry
  • Date Published March 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1844717484
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 66pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Kate Angus
Wings Without Birds, the most recent collection from poet and translator, Brian Henry, is a book that quietly and confidently upends various conventions and expectations. The title itself is a good map for what follows: the mind at flight, tethered but not subservient to the earthly body. Although the speaker in “Where We Stand Now,” the book’s long center poem, claims:
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  • Book Type Essays
  • by Fanny Howe
  • Date Published March 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55597-520-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 196pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Cynthia Reeser
Fanny Howe, author of more than two dozen books of fiction and poetry and two collections of essays, comes forth with a poignant new collection of essays in The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation. Hers is an idea-driven collection that reveals her pursuit of the writing life, her “vocation that has no name.” The Winter Sun is ultimately a necessary work that finds its own moment in time both by looking back to trace the flight pattern Howe has traversed as an author, and by analyzing the means at which we come to arrive in the present.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Alex Lemon
  • Date Published February 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-57131-450-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 136pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Andrea Dulberger
I was drawn to reading Alex Lemon’s The Wish Book partly from the surreal quality of its cover which features fish floating over a well-dressed bird-headed character while a mustached man reads a newspaper of poems, and a dapper potato-headed figure of many eyes lifts the arm of his suit where a large insect pokes free. Yet there are many contemporary poets who seem to draw surreal dream-like worlds on the page; that alone isn’t enough to make a book stand out for me.
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  • Book Type Young Adult Fiction
  • by John Sandoval
  • Date Published April 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-155885-766-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $12.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
“The earth is much like a train with a destination unknown,” Beth Delilah tells boyfriend Elijah in The Witches of Ruidoso. Sadly, author John Sandoval’s journey ended with his death in 2011, making this his first and only novel. His bittersweet YA romance showed promise of him becoming an original storyteller.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Thomas Cobb
  • Date Published September 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8165-2110-4
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
In the John Ford’s 1962 classic Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, there’s a line or two that ring particularly true to writing about the West. After learning the truth about the shootout and the story behind outlaw Liberty Valance’s death, the newspaperman tells James Stewart’s character, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Pasha Malla
  • Date Published 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0887842153
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $29.95
  • Review by Matt Bell
Pasha Malla's debut collection The Withdrawal Method starts off with "The Slough," a story divided into two parts. The first, a weirder, more fanciful tale, begins with the unnamed protagonist's girlfriend announcing that she intends to shed her skin, like a snake, and emerge as someone completely new. He begins to imagine what this new woman might be like and what he might mean to her, leading up to an abrupt shift as the story stops, resets and restarts as a more realistic narrative about a young man named Pasha whose girlfriend Lee is dying of cancer.
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  • Book Type A documentary novel
  • by William Walsh
  • Date Published March 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934081-01-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 228pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Josh Maday
William Walsh’s debut novel, Without Wax, is the story of Wax Williams, legendary male porn star and “the 8th wonder of the world,” whose shy, down-to-earth demeanor endears him to female fans while also making him accessible to male fans. Dissatisfied with (and even afraid for) his life, Wax decides to retire at the pinnacle of his career. In keeping with documentary form and style, Walsh weaves together interview fragments, traditional narrative, depositions, Consumer Profiles, and the script of Wax’s first feature film. The novel is structured in such a way that is entertaining and compulsively readable, getting as close to watching its filmic incarnation as the written word will allow.
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  • Book Type Essays
  • by Curtis Smith
  • Date Published December 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1934513286
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 150pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Ann Beman
Recently, I failed to participate in National Novel Writing Month. But…while I wasn’t writing a 50,000-word novel, I was staying abreast of NaNoWriMo’s weekly missives from well-known authors. I caught the pep talk penned by Lemony Snicket in the same week I read Curtis Smith’s Witness. “Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world,” Snicket wrote.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by J.C. Hallman
  • Date Published March 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-151-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 156pp
  • Price $21.00
  • Review by Reiser Perkins
Nothing will make you hate email like Wm & H’ry, the handsome little book by J.C. Hallman that distills the 800-plus letters exchanged between William and Henry James. Hallman points out that most readers will probably be more familiar with one of the brothers, but makes a convincing case that there is no fully understanding the one without comprehending the other.
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