A down on his luck Nigerian American economist/cabbie plots to steal the statue of a war god from his native village in order to sell it on the black market. But Ngene, as it is called, might be more than a statue. This book sounds like my kind of blend of realism with the fantastic, and the societal commentary seems finely tuned. Maslin calls this book “razor-sharp,” and her review definitely makes me want to read it.
Until just now, I had no idea Rube Goldberg was a real person, certainly wouldn’t have guessed he was a Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist. Old political cartoons are usually a blast to flip through. Probably worth a look for funnies fans.
Spencer is a fine author who hasn’t put out a book in a while (her most recent before this was 13 years ago, when she was almost 80). This collection sounds as controlled and ruminating as I’d expect, with sharp and eloquent writing. Realism fans should take note.
Quickly: This novel about freegans might be worthwhile, but you can probably just look for a copy in the trash in 6 months. A book exploring “coolness” sounds pretty interesting, but I wonder if the editor realizes in writing this book—”‘a louche amuse bouche,’ as he puts it in the foreword”—he forever brands himself as not-cool. This essay about Borges and blades is fascinating. Five “Great” YA Novels worth a peek.