This simple review mirrors the book it covers, one that Robinson describes as “in plain language, the story of someone’s life.” Robinson describes the gems of the narrative as “small moments of beauty and vividness” but that doesn’t seem to do justice to her obvious affection for McDermott’s writing. I know this feeling, when you’ve loved a book but can’t put your finger on what you loved about it. In clunky phrasing, it just feels more like life than other novels. It feels more real, and better. This simple book sounds just like one of those.
Dyer complains that he almost didn’t finish one of Rush’s previous novels, “a long one” with ” an insufferable and interminable narrator,” and yet he perked right up when he heard about this new one, a much shorter novel. I know this feeling, too, when you see talent but can’t stand the result, it can be a painful reading experience. He goes on to rave about Subtle Bodies, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of his description of the action. If you were intrigued by the NYT’s exploration of Rush’s manuscript pages, this might be worth a look.
A pair of Jewish communists move to a “planned community” in Queens and raise a daughter there in Jonathan Lethem’s ninth novel, which Hoberman calls a “rich, grotesque and tender family saga.” The praise abounds in this short review, and it sounds like Lethem fans will have something to sink their teeth into with this one.