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The notorious novel of a Hollywood heel!

What Makes Sammy Run?

Bantam, 1941, 288 pages

Every one of us knows someone who runs. He is one of the symptoms of our times-from the little man who shoves you out of the way on the street to the go-getter who shoves you out of a job in the office to the Fuehrer who shoves you out of the world. And all of us have stopped to wonder, at some time or another, what it is that makes these people tick. What makes them run?

This is the question Schulberg has asked himself, and the answer is the first novel written with the indignation that only a young writer with talent and ideals could concentrate into a manuscript. It is the story of Sammy Glick, the man with a positive genius for being a heel, who runs through New York's East Side, through newspaper ranks and finally through Hollywood, leaving in his wake the wrecked careers of his associates; for this is his tragedy and his chief characteristic-his congenital incapacity for friendship.

An older and more experienced novelist might have tempered his story and, in so doing, destroyed one of its outstanding qualities. Compromise would mar the portrait of Sammy Glick. Schulberg has etched it in pure vitriol, and dissected his victim with a precision that is almost frightening.

When a fragment of this book appeared as a short story in a national magazine, Schulberg was surprised at the number of letters he received from people convinced they knew Sammy Glick's real name. But speculation as to his real identity would be utterly fruitless, for Sammy is a composite picture of a loud and spectacular minority bitterly resented by the many decent and sincere artists who are trying honestly to realize the measureless potentialities of motion pictures. To this group belongs Schulberg himself, who has not only worked as a screen writer since his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1936, but has spent his life, literally, in the heart of the motion-picture colony. In the course of finding out what makes Sammy run (an operation in which the reader is spared none of the gruesome details) Schulberg has poured out everything he has felt about that place. The result is a book which the publishers not only believe to be the most honest ever written about Hollywood, but a penetrating study of one kind of twentieth-century success that is peculiar to no single race of people or walk of life.

The most narcissistic anti-hero ever - Sammy Glick IS Hollywood. )

Verdict: An outstanding, funny, tragic, and entertaining novel about a despicable main character who epitomizes every venal Hollywood stereotype, and an excellent read for the prose and dialog as well as the characters. What Makes Sammy Run? is still appalling and entertaining; it may be about Hollywood in the 30s, but Hollywood is still full of Sammy Glicks. 10/10 and highly recommended!

My complete list of book reviews.
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A brilliantly funny stand-alone sequel that will appeal to all serious book-lovers.

Amy Falls Down

Thomas Dunne Books, 2013, 336 pages

Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor living in Escondido, California, with her dog, Alphonse. Since recent unsettling events, she has made some progress. While she still has writer's block, she doesn't suffer from it. She's still a hermit, but she has allowed some of her class members into her life. She is no longer numb, angry, and sardonic: she is merely numb and bemused, which is as close to happy as she plans to get. Amy is calm.

So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next. Amy falls down. A simple accident, as a result of which something happens, and then something else, and then a number of different things, all as unpredictable as an eight-ball break. At first the changes are small, but as these small events carom off one another, Amy's life changes in ways that range from ridiculous to frightening to profound. This most reluctant of adventurers is dragged and propelled by train, plane, and automobile through an outlandish series of antic media events on her way to becoming - to her horror - a kind of celebrity. And along the way, as the numbness begins to wear off, she comes up against something she has avoided all her life: her future, that "sleeping monster, not to be poked."

Amy Falls Down explores, through the experience of one character, the role that accident plays in all our lives. "You turn a corner and beasts break into arias, gunfire erupts, waking a hundred families, starting a hundred different conversations. You crack your head open and three thousand miles away a stranger with Asperger's jump-starts your career." We are all like Amy. We are all wholly unprepared for what happens next. Also, there is a basset hound.

If you are a 'Bookish' person, you will love this book. )

Verdict: I am convinced Jincy Willett is a quiet and underappreciated genius, and Amy Falls Down, while no more exciting plot-wise than its title indicates, is a true "literary" novel in the sense of being intelligently, unabashedly well-written — but meant to entertain, not to win awards and get praise from all the right people. 10/10.

Also by Jincy Willett: My review of The Writing Class.

My complete list of book reviews.
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Nine short stories from a new horror master: gritty, grotty, grimdark, with words like bloody knives.

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

Night Shade Books, 2013, 280 pages

Over the course of two award-winning collections and a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, Laird Barron has arisen as one of the strongest and most original literary voices in modern horror and the dark fantastic. Melding supernatural horror with hardboiled noir, espionage, and a scientific backbone, Barron's stories have garnered critical acclaim and have been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards.

Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including "Blackwood's Baby", "The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven", and "The Men from Porlock", The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.

Not H.P. Lovecraft. Not Stephen King. )

Verdict: Not every story in The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All was 5 stars, but I wouldn't rate any of them below 4. Laird Barron has hit my list of "authors to read more of soon." I'm highly recommending this book, though I am scoring it not quite a 10 because I haven't read his other books yet and am not sure yet that this is his best. If you like your horror dark and two-fisted, like a less prissy, less squeamish Lovecraft, or a contemporary Ambrose Bierce, check this Barron guy out. 9/10.

My complete list of book reviews.
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Boys' Life meets Stephen King.

The Troop

Gallery Books, 2013, 358 pages

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There's Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there's Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim's job a little easier. But for some reason, he can't shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked...

It comes to them in the night. An unexpected intruder, stumbling upon their campsite like a wild animal. He is shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry - a man in unspeakable torment who exposes Tim and the boys to something far more frightening than any ghost story. Within his body is a bioengineered nightmare, a horror that spreads faster than fear. One by one, the boys will do things no person could ever imagine.

And so it begins. An agonizing weekend in the wilderness. A harrowing struggle for survival. No possible escape from the elements, the infected...or one another.

This is a writer who knows what Stephen King did best and does it almost as well. )

Verdict: A little scary, and very disturbing, The Troop is an almost perfect horror novel. The plot never slows down, the extras like interviews and news articles all add to the story, and the writing is polished, detailed, and descriptive without ever going off-course. Characters are real and engaging, and they act like real people. While the content may not be to everyone's taste, it gets my highly recommended tag.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A collection of hard SF short stories spanning an entire century of near-future history.

Sex and Violence in Zero-G: The Complete Near Space Stories, Expanded Edition

Fantastic Books, 2012, 514 pages

All the stories of Allen Steele's award-winning "Near Space" series--now in an expanded and revised second edition!

Since its first publication in 1999, "Sex and Violence in Zero-G" has become one of the most long-sought and hard-to-find of Steele's books. At last, this massive collection is back in print--complete with a new introduction, five additional stories, and a revised timeline.

Includes the Hugo Award-winning novella "The Death of Captain Future" and the Hugo Award-winning novelette "The Emperor of Mars."

For astronauts, beamjacks, prospectors and colonists, soldiers and gangsters and rebels in space... )

Verdict: These stories are all love letters to an earlier generation of science fiction, but the Near Space series is thoroughly modern SF. I think Allen Steele is underrated, and since I have always loved space adventures and short stories that all fit into an epic arc, this collection gets my Highly Recommended tag.

Also by Allen Steele: My reviews of Coyote and Apollo's Outcasts.

My complete list of book reviews.
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The world's greatest detective uses drugs, the I Ching, and an old French book to solve a missing persons case in New Orleans.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 273 pages

Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Dètection-the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

A badass female detective without a romantic subplot? Surely this cannot last. )

Verdict: Claire DeWitt joins Joanna Brady, Amelia Peabody, Precious Ramotswe, and Ellie McEnroe as one of my favorite lady detectives. I wasn't really interested in this book when it showed up as an Audible Daily Deal, but some positive reviews convinced me to give a try, and I'm glad I did. It's right on the borderline, but I'm adding it to my Highly Recommended list for anyone who likes detective mysteries.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A writers' workshop in a book and a glorious kaleidoscopic work of art.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

Harry N. Abrams, 2013, 332 pages

This all-new definitive guide to writing imaginative fiction takes a completely novel approach and fully exploits the visual nature of fantasy through original drawings, maps, renderings, and exercises to create a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring object. Employing an accessible, example-rich approach, Wonderbook energizes and motivates while also providing practical, nuts-and-bolts information needed to improve as a writer. Aimed at aspiring and intermediate-level writers, Wonderbook includes helpful sidebars and essays from some of the biggest names in fantasy today, such as George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente, and Karen Joy Fowler, to name a few.

Advice from a Who's Who of SF and fantasy authors, lavishly illustrated. )

Verdict: A fantastic workshop for would-be writers, a masterwork in visual and literary mediums, a huge collection of advice and exercises, recognizable Names galore, and a pretty good coffee table book. Highly recommended.

My complete list of book reviews.
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The history of Islam told as a narrative, not as an apologetic, an indictment, or a treatise.

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

Public Affairs, 2009, 416 pages

Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

This book reveals the parallel "other" narrative of world history to help us make sense of today's world conflicts. Ansary traces the history of the Muslim world from pre-Mohammedan days through 9/11, introducing people, events, empires, legends, and religious disputes, both in terms of what happened and how it was understood and interpreted.

Whatever you think of Islam and Islamicists, this book is interesting in its own right and definitely educational. )

Verdict: Destiny Disrupted is a very well-written history that will be enlightening to anyone interested in that part of the world, and full of insight into the Muslim way of thinking, without trying to tilt the reader one way or the other with respect to current political conflicts. Tamim Ansary pulls off what few historical writers do, especially on such a dense and relatively obscure subject condensed into a book of readable length. I found it utterly interesting and enjoyable, educational, and the author's voice was a noticeable enhancement to the narrative without ever slipping into didacticism or soapboxing. So, in case it's not clear, I really liked this book and recommend it highly.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A sober examination of the cult, delving deeply into the lives of L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise, and Xenu.

Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 444 pages

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.

Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an even-handed account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology's development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.

Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.


Verdict: An even-handed history of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, Janet Reitman did not set out to write an expose or a hit piece, but an objective piece of journalism. The result is still pretty damning; while sympathetic to the church's followers, Reitman can only describe what the church is — an abusive, money-grubbing cult. (My words, not hers.) Inside Scientology is about as informative and unbiased a view as you can get of the Church of Scientology, and I found it to be comprehensive, well-written, and fascinating, making this a highly recommended work of non-fiction.

My complete list of book reviews.
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The mean streets of Baltimore laid bare in true-crime police journalism that spawned two TV series.

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

Ballantine Books, 1991, 608 pages

Enter the workday of real policemen. Follow fifteen detectives, three sergeants, and a lieutenant, whose job it is to investigate Baltimore's 234 murders. You will get a cop's-eye-view of the bureaucracy, the highs of success, the moments of despair, and the non-stop rush of pursuits, anger, banter, and violence that make up a cop's life. Now an acclaimed television series, this extraordinary book is the insider's look at what you have always wondered about.

The POPO are not your friends, Bunk. )

Verdict: A non-fiction book that has it all. Class, race, politics, and the real lives of cops and criminals. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets is the best true crime novel and one of the best non-fiction novels I've ever read. For The Wire alone I would adore this book, but it's simply an excellent, thick and engrossing work of journalism, and makes my Highly Recommended list.

My complete list of book reviews.
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Professor Moriarty and Basher Moran: if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had loved the bad guys more.

Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles

Titan Books, 2011, 476 pages

Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Prof. James Moriarty - wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, unpredictable - and Colonel Sebastian 'Basher' Moran - violent,politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. Unravelling mysteries -- all for their own gain.

A spin-off from Titan's highly successful Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, The Hound of the D'Urbervilles sees acclaimed novelist Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) take on the fiendish Professor Moriarty.

Moriarty smiled his adder's smile. And I relaxed. I knew. My destiny and his wound together. It was a sensation I'd never got before upon meeting a man. When I'd had it from women, the upshot ranged from disappointment to attempted murder. )

Verdict: For fans of Sherlock Holmes, especially the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, this is an absolute must-read. Kim Newman nails the era, the slang, the genre, even the writing style, filling this book with easter eggs to delight all fans of Victorian pulp fiction, but with hilarious and dastardly stories that will entertain even the readers who miss the references. So entertaining and so skillfully executed, it makes my highly recommended list.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A post-apocalyptic epic poem for Young Adults.


Phoenicia Publishing, 2012, 103 pages

Thaliad is a post-apocalyptic tale, orchestrated in verse. Part novel, part fantasy, and always compelling, it tells the story of a group of children who make an arduous journey of escape and then settle in a deserted rural town on the shores of a beautiful lake. There, they must learn how to survive, using tools and knowledge they discover in the ruins of the town, but also how to live together. At the heart of the story is the young girl Thalia, who gradually grows to womanhood, and into the spiritual role for which she was destined.

Following in the great tradition of narrative poetry, Thaliad tells a gripping story populated with sharply-drawn, memorable characters whose struggles illuminate the complexity of human behavior from its most violent to most noble. At the same time, through its accessible language and style, the epic presents wholly contemporary questions about what is necessary not only for physical survival, but for the flourishing of the human spirit.

Thaliad is decorated throughout with original collages by the renowned Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

YEAR 1 AFTER THE FIRE. The endless mourning of a boy. A highway, drear or harrowing. A moment of wild thoughtlessness that sealed the end of innocence. )

Verdict: I loved this. Who the hell writes a post-apocalyptic YA novella in blank verse? Obviously, someone inspired by a non-commercial muse. Thaliad is beautiful and touching and deserves a wider audience. Highly recommended!

Also by Marly Youmans: My review of The Curse of the Raven Mocker and Ingledove.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A turn-of-the-century urban fantasy about two very unusual immigrants to New York City.

The Golem and the Jinni

Harper, 2013, 486 pages

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

It's hard to believe this was a debut novel. This is as good as historical fantasy gets. )

Verdict: This is the sort of thick, juicy fantasy that should appeal to all fans of thick juicy fantasies and historical fiction alike. Rich in characters and setting details, judicious about using magic as a plot device, not a character, a mystical force that doesn't need to be meticulously systemitized to make sense. The Golem and the Jinni is literary fantasy that doesn't fill its pages with unnecessary side trips into some hidden magical world just to detail other creatures; it spends its time on character development and describing a vivid turn-of-the-century New York populated by immigrants of all kinds. Highly recommended!

While the two books are very different in style, I will also say that if you liked Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, you should definitely put The Golem and Jinni on your TBR list.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A mind-bending contemporary Russian dark fantasy about a girl who becomes a Word.

Vita Nostra

Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2012, approximately 144,000 words (Originally published in Russian in 2007)

The words VITA NOSTRA, or "our life," come from an old Latin student anthem Gaudeamus : "Vita nostra brevis est, Brevi finietur" or "Our life is brief, It will shortly end ..."

The heroine of the novel has been forced into a seemingly inconceivable situation. Against her will, she must enter the Institute of Special Technologies. A slightest misstep or failure at school-and the students' loved ones pay a price. Governed by fear and coercion, Sasha will learn the meaning of the phrase "In the beginning was the word ..."

VITA NOSTRA is a thrilling journey into the deepest mysteries of existence, a dizzying adventure, an opening into a world that no one has ever described, a world that frightens and attracts the readers of the novel.

The novel combines the seemingly incongruous aspects-spectacular adventures and philosophical depth, incredible transformations and psychological accuracy, complexity of ethical issues and mundane details of urban life.

If Leo Tolstoy wrote Harry Potter. )

Verdict: Vita Nostra does not fit neatly into a genre category. The translator calls it "urban psychological science fiction and fantasy." It's as much horror as fantasy, as much contemporary realism as it is magical realism. It's rather hard to describe and it was sometimes frustrating to read. There are many literary and historical allusions, and there were depths that I sensed lurking beneath this translation that might be more evident to its Russian audience.

I want you to read it (moreover, I want you to buy it — the ebook is only $2.99), because I want more of the Dyachenkos' work to be translated into English. But this is certainly a book that will not be to everyone's taste. If you like dark fantasy, I think you will like it. If you like Russian literature (and don't mind a fantastic element), you will definitely like it. But it's a very strange book, and it doesn't follow a standard Western fantasy arc. Things are described in vague, esoteric terms and the relevance and meaning is not always made clear to the reader, which forces you to swim in the same existential confusion afflicted upon the characters.

Supposedly Vita Nostra is now in pre-production as a Russian movie. I don't know if it will ever make it to Netflix, but if this movie does happen I'd really like to get my hands on a copy.

Also by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko: My review of The Scar.

My complete list of book reviews.
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Six genres, six centuries, six stories, lives repeated.

Cloud Atlas

Random House, 2004, 509 pages

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

A grand tapestry made of shiny threads, a Buddhist sci-fi novel, a matryoshka doll manuscript, a writing stunt. )

Verdict: A great book by a great writer, and while some have dismissed it as a show-offy writing stunt, I thought it worked very well. Some literary authors go slumming in genre fiction, but David Mitchell is more like a genre author who has snuck into the ranks of litfic.

Also by David Mitchell: My review of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

My complete list of book reviews.
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A murder mystery set in a creative writing class — one of the best books I've read this year!

The Writing Class

Thomas Dunne Books, 2008, 326 pages

Amy Gallup is gifted, perhaps too gifted for her own good. Published at only twenty-two, she peaked early and found critical but not commercial success. Now her former life is gone, along with her writing career and beloved husband. A reclusive widow, her sole companion a dour, flatulent basset hound who barely tolerates her, her daily mantra Kill Me Now, she is a loner afraid to be alone. Her only bright spot each week is the writing class that she teaches at the university extension.

This semester's class is full of the usual suspects: the doctor who wants to be the next Robin Cook, the overly enthusiastic repeat student, the slacker, the unassuming student with the hidden talent, the prankster, the know-it-all... Amy's seen them all before. But something is very different about this class---and the clues begin with a scary phone call in the middle of the night and obscene threats instead of peer evaluations on student writing assignments. Amy soon realizes that one of her students is a very sick puppy, and when a member of the class is murdered, everyone becomes a suspect. As she dissects each student's writing for clues, Amy must enlist the help of everyone in her class, including the murderer, to find the killer among them.

Suspenseful, extremely witty, brilliantly written, unexpectedly hilarious, and a joy from start to finish, The Writing Class is a one-of-a-kind novel that rivals Jincy Willett's previous masterpieces

For anyone who's ever been in a writing workshop and fantasized about killing that obnoxious guy who keeps going on and on about his Lovecraftian steampunk romance... )

Verdict: I loved this book! I didn't really expect to, but the notion is fresh and funny, it's entirely self-contained (I do not foresee a series of cozies starring a mystery-solving creative writing teacher), and best of all, it's written with the skilled prose, wit, and multi-layered, surprising characters of a gifted literary writer. The Writing Class is high quality lit-fic disguised as a high-concept genre murder mystery.

My complete list of book reviews.
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The crew of a generation ship encounters an alien vessel that practically screams "Get out!" so of course they poke around.

Ship of Fools

Ace Books, 2001, 370 pages

Home to generations of humans, the starship Argonos has wandered aimlessly throughout the galaxy for hundreds of years, desperately searching for other signs of life. Now a steady, unidentified transmission lures them toward a nearby planet, where the grisly remains of a former colony await the crew. Haunted by what they have seen, the crew has no choice but to follow when another signal beckons the Argonos into deep space — and into the dark heart of an alien mystery.

Scarier than Alien and hella smarter than Prometheus. )

Verdict: I sometimes make fun of books that seem to be Hollywood-bait — "Please, please Ridley Scott, option me!" — but dayyum, Ship of Fools would make an awesome, pants-shittingly scary movie. This is the manuscript that Prometheus should have been.

My complete list of book reviews.


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