Category Archives: contemporary fiction

Donna Tartt, “The Goldfinch”

One of my favorite things to see in a painting is a passage where the artist straddles a divide. On the one hand, your conscious mind knows you are looking at marks on canvas, yet you also see the simulation … Continue reading

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John Le Carre, “The Constant Gardener”

I don’t go looking for bleakness, at least not these days. So I finished The Constant Gardener with some puzzlement. What is it that periodically draws me back to John Le Carré? He’s like that bad boyfriend who makes you feel … Continue reading

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Lee Child, “Never Go Back”

A lot of people were disappointed by the filmed version of Lee Child’s Reacher novels, probably right down to the improbably-cast Tom Cruise. If I remember correctly, the premise was that Reacher on film needed to be a blockbuster that … Continue reading

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George R.R. Martin, “A Dance with Dragons” Game of Thrones Book 5

That’s that, then. I have now completed all five existing volumes of George R.R. Martin’s immense Game of Thrones series. It’s an achievement that needs to be punctuated somehow, with an exclamation or perhaps the thud of a very heavy … Continue reading

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George R.R. Martin, “A Feast for Crows”, Game of Thrones Book 4

Hmph. That was dull. And dullness is not what we expect from George R.R. Martin. But because I am a methodical creature I plowed through many many pages of A Feast for Crows. The problem is that I am far … Continue reading

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Robert Galbraith a/k/a J.K. Rowling, “The Cuckoo’s Calling”

You heard about this, right? Obscure first novel by an author nobody’s ever heard of. Gets good reviews; a few of the reviewers are struck by the assurance, confidence, competence of the writing. Nevertheless, the sales are dismal, and The … Continue reading

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George R.R. Martin, “A Storm of Swords” Game of Thrones Book 3

Yes, I said, yes. I have succumbed utterly. Long line at the DMV? It’s OK, I’ve got Game of Thrones. Two-hour layover in Las Vegas? More time in Westeros. Phone rings, deadline looms, spouse wants to talk? Now we’ve got … Continue reading

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