Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers

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

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”

The Fireman, by Joe Hill

the-fireman-sff-worldA 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”

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, by Sunil Yapa

The Flamethrowers
meets Let the Great World Spin in this electrifying debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests. (Hachette Book Group)                                        

General Consensus: Fairly mixed reviews. Critics were impressed with the novel’s scope and ambition, with some complaints about style and pacing.

Critic Reviews

The New York Timesour Heart is a Muscle - Hachette Book Group                                                                                                

…the novel’s indisputably good heart is weakened by a tendency toward overwriting (“The chanting, Victor. It’s how we hold the fear in our mouths and transform it into gold”) and the conventionality of its narrative moves.

Full Review: http://nyti.ms/24K67d3

Continue reading “Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, by Sunil Yapa”

Undermajordomo Minor, by Patrick DeWitt

Undermajordomo Minor - House of AnansiA love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners,Undermajordomo Minor is Patrick deWitt’s long-awaited follow-up to the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers. (Harper Collins)


The Independent

“From its pitch-perfect opening onwards, it’s clear from the unusual atmosphere and droll narration that deWitt has created a unique fictional universe.”

Full Review: http://ind.pn/1XQpr46


The Guardian

“This is the territory of the Brothers Grimm, as seen through the skewed lens of Wes Anderson or Monty Python, a place of wood-chopping and petty thieving and puppies drowned in buckets, where they speak a Euro-Biblical-Yiddishy scramble of “and then they did do this” and “enough already”. And why shouldn’t that work? It works.”

Full Review: http://bit.ly/1PnhCzS


The Irish Times

“The story is funny and the novel, while slight, is immensely entertaining, complete with romantic rivalries, thwarted love and a hilarious extended bickering sequence concerning leadership of a rescue party conducted by two men who had never previously thought of making an escape.”

Full Review: http://bit.ly/1iDDmdG


The Boston Globe

“This novel is compulsively readable. DeWitt’s facility with point of view and narrative style is astounding — “The Sisters Brothers’’ is told in the first-person with Eli Sister’s deadpan but oddly lyrical Old West argot. In “Undermajordomo Minor,’’ deWitt adopts that peculiarly distancing omniscience and flowery, musing language of the folktale to relate events.”

Full Review: http://bit.ly/1NQtxEC


The New York Times

“Rising over its self-consciousness, “Undermajordomo Minor” not only salutes the literature of a bygone era but fully inhabits it, and the result is a novel that offers the same delights as the fairy tales and adventure stories it takes on, while reminding us that in the long game of literature, what lasts is what thrills. My take on Patrick deWitt is that he is a thrilling writer likely to last past our own soon-to-be-bygone time.”

Full Review: http://nyti.ms/1YfL9Qd


The Washington Post

“Recently longlisted for Canada’s Giller Prize, “Undermajordomo Minor” is not actually a fairy tale, but the events lean toward the magical and the postmodern in that deWitt uses folk-tale motifs to make disturbing observations about the nature of love and redemption.”

Full Review: http://wapo.st/1PnnRUo


The Telegraph

“If Undermajordomo Minor is a funnier book than The Sisters Brothers, it is also a slighter one, and the basic structure of the gags does get a bit repetitive.”

Full Review: http://bit.ly/1RwgmK0


The Scotsman

“In The Sister Brothers, which earned De Witt his place on the Man Booker shortlist, he twisted the Western into new and unusual forms. Undermajordomo Minor does the same with the fairy story to great effect. It is a book which lingers long in the imagination and is a superb paean to the truthful lie we call fiction. Twee? Perhaps. But bittersweet too.”

Full Review: http://bit.ly/1MiJSCV