A hilarious and moving state-of-the-nation road trip, Heroes of the Frontier is Dave Eggers at his satirical best.
Heroes of the Frontier is a story of a small family “from the bottom forty-eight” driving through Alaska. Josie, a dentist fleeing a broken relationship and an impending lawsuit, takes her two children out of school and flies to Anchorage. They rent a battered old RV nicknamed “The Chateau” and aimlessly hit the road. The story takes on a familiar pattern. Josie arrives in a new place, full of hope and unfettered optimism. Before long, either through her own mistakes or shattered expectations, they leave – Josie dejected and forlorn, before starting all over again. It is a pattern mirrored in the life she left behind, which is slowly revealed to us – the peaks and troughs of daily suburbia, the deadening monotony irregularly punctured by fleeting moments of euphoria. Continue reading “Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers”
A nightmare vision of a world in flames – The Fireman is Joe Hill’s best book to date.
Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Reviewers who acknowledge this also tend to lament the fact that they should mention it at all, because he is clearly an accomplished author in his own right. That he has achieved popular and critical success is due to hard work and talent. Having eschewed his famous name he succeeded on his own terms. Referring to this point, The New York Times claims “He deserves not to have it mentioned in reviews of his books anymore, so look up his pedigree if you really need to.” Continue reading “The Fireman, by Joe Hill”
The Cultural Revolution – The Bloomfield Review
Frank Dikötter’s The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976 completes the trilogy begun with 2010’s Mao’s Great Famine and continued in 2013 with a prequel volume, The Tragedy of Liberation. This narrative history of the Cultural Revolution, however, holds up remarkably well as an independent volume. Continue reading “The Cultural Revolution, by Frank Dikötter”
The Buried Giant – Ishiguro’s surprising tale.
A great deal of surprise has been expressed among fans and critics at the subject matter of Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel The Buried Giant. The book is in the realm of historical fantasy – Tolkien meets Sir Walter Scott meets Game of Thrones set in an Arthurian, post-Roman Civilization Britain. An elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, journey to find their son through an eerie, inhospitable, landscape shrouded in a strange amnesia-inducing mist, encountering knights, ogres, demons, fiends, dragons and pixies along the way. Continue reading “The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro”