Boyd’s work is extremely competent, smart, well-wrought in every way, with fine writing too. Boyd is particularly masterful at employing very short sections to quickly establish and deftly and economically build up his narratives. Some of these stories are composed of paragraph-long sections representing distinct points of view that together produce a sort of pastiche of sensory data and information, and in this way lay out the drama involved.
It is a world of true revolutionary fervor and desperation in this country that McGrath recreates in the short space of sixty-one pages, as well as visceral and ideological animosity—the kind people are willing to kill and die for—towards the English masters, a time when Americans (that is, North Americans, or estadounidenses) were treated with the same brand of disdain that the European descendants in this country tend to reserve now, for example, for Latin Americans.
Bowles’ dismal view of both human nature and human prospects imbues each of the seventeen short stories in The Delicate Prey. There is no relief or escape from this gloomy attitude. And yet a writer like myself literally feeds off this work.
Choukri combines his forthright, unrepentant and keen observational talents with privileged first and second-hand access to three literary legends, all of whom responded to his curiosity and his questioning with sometimes welcome and revealing candor. And practically everything Choukri has to say about these writers—as well as himself—is worth noting.
Robert Stone’s Outerbridge Reach is a magnificent book. And magnificent—with its roots in magnus, great, and facere, to make—is just the right word, le mot juste. This novel is large and ambitious and although there is a point in the story at which the tension—that tautness in the long line that has been pulling the reader along from the very beginning—slackens a bit, and the reader is asked to accept one single almost cliché but largely inevitable development in the narrative, the story is otherwise almost flawless. The first thing that impressedSEE DETAILS