Archive for the ‘Literary’ Category

Amazon Loves DICK

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

9781584350347-mediumAmazon Studios introduces three new titles in their “pilot season” this month. Unlike other networks, where pilots are seen by a few executives who decide which will go to series, Amazon invites viewers to get in on the action and vote for their favorites, with one exception. Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes is going directly to series.

Of the three pilots released this month, one bears a title that sounds more like it came from a bathroom stall than from a book. I Love Dick is based on a cult novel by Chris Kraus, published by the indie press Semiotext(e) in 1997.

Directed by Jill Soloway, the creator of the award-winning Transparent, which begins its third season next month, it stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn, who also stars in Transparent.

Profiling the production, New York magazine writes that Soloway turns “one of the most compelling cult novels of the last 20 years into a television show with the potential to be as groundbreaking in its examination of gender politics as her first.”

The cult status of the book was explored last year in a piece in the New Yorker and the Guardian celebrated its UK debut last fall.

Amazon recently debuted two other pilots based on books, The Interestings, based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel, is not going to series, but The Last Tycoon, based on an unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is scheduled to begin streaming this fall.

From X-Men to ALIAS GRACE

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

9780385490443Anna Paquin is joining the cast of the Netflix series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample), reports IndieWire.

The actress, best known for her roles in X-Men and HBO’s True Blood, is set for the role of Nancy Montgomery, one of the two people allegedly killed by Grace Marks in the 1800s.

As we wrote previously, the double murder rocked Canada in the 1840’s with the public avidly following every detail and debating the question of whether the poor young Irish immigrant Marks (to be played by Sarah Gadon) was guilty of killing her employer and his housekeeper/lover (Montgomery).

Mary Harron (American Psycho) is directing the six-hour series. Filming started this month. No word yet on an airdate.

This is not the only new Atwood adaption on the way. As we noted earlier, Hulu is adapting The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Daily Show Bounce Is Back
for HOMEGOING

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

9781101947135_40918Trevor Noah took over hosting The Daily Show from Jon Stewart last year. His predecessor was beloved by publishers for the many writers he featured on the show and for the resulting bumps in sales of their books.

Noah has not followed in those footsteps. While he has featured writers, they have been the usual late show mix of well known comedians and politicians who just happen to have written books and those appearances have rarely produced noticeable sales bumps.

Last night’s guest was different. Noah interviewed novelist Yaa Gyasi and The Daily Show bump returned, sending her debut Homegoing (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample) shooting up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #315 to #62.


Noah is passionate about the book, calling  it “one of the most fantastic books I have read in a long time,” continuing that it is a “powerful … beautiful story … hopeful while at the same time being very realistic … you cry and you laugh as you are reading it.”

Gyasi says her visit to a slave fort in Ghana spurred her to write about the “diaspora as a family … if you go back far enough in time the thing that connects us … both African immigrants and African Americans … is the fact that we were all related … I wanted to bring it down to that most elemental level … to connect the family for all of us.” She also says that the story of slavery cannot be told without including the role played by African slave traders.

Noah closed the brief interview by reminding the audience that Gyasi’s novel is being hailed as “the new Roots of our generation” and saying he expects to be hearing more from her.

The million-dollar debut has been a hot title since before it even hit shelves, getting nods from librarians and booksellers, making multiple Summer reading lists, and Entertainment Weekly‘s list of “Best Fiction of 2016 So Far..” It spent a few weeks on the NYT bestseller extend list (getting as high as #15) but did best on the American Booksellers Association list which measures indie bookstore sales, reaching #5.

Circulation continues to be strong across libraries we checked with high hold numbers and turnover rates.

Taking Off Like An Express Train

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

9780385537032_9b0d7From the President to RWA’s Librarian of the Year, people are on board for Oprah’s latest pick, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT). It debuts at #4 on the NYT Best Seller Hardback Fiction list, is the #6 best selling book on Amazon, and is #10 on the USA Today best- seller list.

Reviewers were caught off guard when the book, originally scheduled for publication in September, was published early due to the Oprah pick. A few newspapers managed to rush their reviews into print including The Washington Post and The New York Times. Since then there have been many more assessments, all of them glowing.

The book is featured on the cover of this week’s NYT Sunday Book Review. Author Juan Gabriel Vásquez  calls it “striking and imaginative … carefully built and stunningly daring; it is also, both in expected and unexpected ways, dense, substantial and important.” Whitehead himself is interviewed by NYT BR editor Pamela Paul on the weekly podcast.

NPR‘s book reviewer goes so far as to say, “With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America’s greatest authors — his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroad is an American masterpiece.”

Laura Miller of Slate wonders “How does an ironist write about slavery?” and makes some unexpected comparisons, “The Underground Railroad makes it clear that Whitehead’s omnivorous cultural appetite has devoured narratives of every variety and made them his own. This novel, like much of his work, has the flavor of [Ralph] Ellison’s skepticism—but it’s also redolent of the propulsive, quasi-allegorical quest plot of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Think of The Underground Railroad as the novel where the spirits of two great American storytellers meet in a third.”

USA Today gives it 3.5 out of four stars, saying that the novel is “masterful, urgent,” full of “immense vitality,” and “one of the finest novels written about our country’s still unabsolved original sin.” WSJ writes “on every page of The Underground Railroad is evidence of a mature writer in full control of his talent and ambition.” People calls it “Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember.”

As for the President and the librarian, Mr. Obama includes the book on his just released Summer Reading List while Robin Bradford, Collection Development Librarian for Timberland Regional Library and the 2016 RWA Librarian of the Year, prophetically said during a podcast from the romance book site, Smart Bitches/Trashy Books, recorded before Oprah made her pick, “everyone will be talking about it when it comes out, and you’ll hear so much about it that you’ll think, it can’t be that good, [but] it’s one of those life-changing books …  I can’t shut up about that book.”

ANOTHER BROOKLYN Soars

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

9780062359988_42588Jacqueline Woodson’s first novel for adults in two decades, Another Brooklyn (HarperCollins/Amistad; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), is racing up the Amazon sales ranks, moving from #1,678 to #346.

The jump is a result of Woodson’s appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air, where she talks with host Terry Gross about poetry, sex, gender, homosexuality, and how growing up in a deeply religious family fueled her creativity and instilled in her a confidence that she had “a right to say what I believe in.”

USA Today reviewed the coming of age novel Tuesday, giving it 3 out of 4 stars and writing “it’s a story about adolescence as a feat of survival … alert to the confluences of dramas that a teen absorbs all at once, from racism to sexual abuse to the loss of family members.”

It is the #1 Indie Pick for August and earned rare all-star status from the four trade review journals. As we wrote earlier, it is on the majority of the summer reading lists and is sure to be heavily reviewed.

Man Booker Longlist Title to
Big Screen

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Screen-Shot-2015-08-26-at-11.01.59-AM  9780399184260_5f8e2  9780735212169_GirlontheTrain_MTI_MM.indd

On the heels of the announcement that Ottessa Moshfegh’s literary thriller Eileen (PRH/Penguin) is a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, comes the news that screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson has been hired to adapt the novel for producer Scott Rudin.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Wilson has “become a go-to writer for adapting book-to-screen thrillers with provocative female heroines who are not always likable” ( the WSJ profiled her last year under the headline “Hollywood’s Go-To Scribe for Thrillers“). Having written the screenplay for The Girl on the Train, she was hired last year to adapt Maestra by L.S. Hilton (PRH/Putnam; BOT), another title that was sometimes compared to The Girl on the Train (Note: the cover for the latter, above, is the newly-released art for the tie-in).

Maestra is still in development. No stars or director have yet been named.

Oprah’s Book Club: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

9780385537032_9b0d7“Nobody could wait for Colson Whitehead’s new book — including Oprah, so here it is, a month early,” writes Ron Charles in The Washington Post.

Today, Winfrey announced that The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT) is the latest title in her Book Club 2.0. Originally scheduled for release on Sept. 13, it is available now, says Charles, as “the result of an extraordinary plan to start shipping 200,000 copies out to booksellers in secret.”

Oprah enthuses about the novel, below, saying it’s kept her up at night, her heart in her throat.

Calling it “Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year,” Charles says the novel “reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era … The canon of essential novels about America’s peculiar institution just grew by one.”

It received stars from the trades (Boolist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW) and was on a bevy of “most anticipated lists.”

Announcing the selection today on CBS This Morning, Oprah admits that, despite his literary reputation, she had never read a book by Whitehead before.

It was also a hit of BEA. Whitehead was one of Library Journal’s Day of Dialog speakers and was on the panel for the Adult Book and Author Breakfast. As we reported in our GalleyChat BEA review, Jessica Woodbury, blogger and Book Riot contributor, called the novel “spectacular,” and said, “The beauty of this book is that while it has that deep communal feel of folk tale, it also lives vibrantly through its characters. I cannot remember another book about this era that so completely brought the world to life in my mind. Just do yourself a favor and get this book.”

Oprah interviews the author, in a video on the CBS site as well as on Oprah.com.

For those thinking ahead to displays, The New York Times offered a host of possibilities in their review of Ben H. Winters’s Underground Airlines, connecting it to Whitehead as well as Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and Natashia Deon’s debut novel, Grace. And of course there is Octavia Butler’s modern classic, Kindred.

Hitting Screens, Week of July 25

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two adaptations open this week, one based on a 2008 Philip Roth novel and the other on a 2012 YA novel by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve.

Nerve, opening nationwide on July 27, sports the first Pokémon Go  promotional tie-in. Producer Lionsgate is sponsoring PokéStop locations outside movie theaters in several U.S. cities.

The fast-paced YA SF thriller is about an online, voyeuristic, game of truth or dare, which according to Kirkus, reflects themes from another book Lionsgate successfully adapted,  The Hunger Games. Nerve stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis.

A tie-in came out a week ago, Nerve Movie Tie-In, Jeanne Ryan (PRH/Speak; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432845_5e494Indignation, adapted from Philip Roth’s 2008 novel, starring Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, and Tracy Letts, opens on July 29 in NYC and LA.

It premiered at Sundance this year to mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A warmly satisfying screen translation of a work by an author who has rarely been served well on film” and the NYT listed Gadon as one of their “Breakthrough Performances.” The Guardian, however, writes, “For a first-time feature, Indignation is undoubtedly accomplished, with handsome production values, stellar performances, and [a] … tour-de-force scene that bodes of great things to come from the budding film-maker. Unfortunately, on the whole, Schamus’ debut feels too self-serious to fully engage.”

A tie-in comes out next week, Indignation, Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage).

Nancy Pearl Interviews Adam Haslett

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

9780316261357_38751Saying that his novel gave her “hours of great pleasure,” librarian Nancy Pearl talks with author Adam Haslett about his new book, Imagine Me Gone (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample) on the most recent episode of Book Lust TV,

Hassett says the book is described by one of his friends, “a love story about a family.” It follows five members of a family as they each narrate part of the story as it moves forward in time across 40 years. Nancy praises the strong characterizations and Haslett says that he always wants to “get as far into the texture and nuance of his characters’ life as possible.” For him, he continues, the process of entering “imaginatively and sympathetically” into a character is key. Like method acting, he says, he lives with the characters.

The two also discuss reading. Haslett says that he is dyslexic and that reading was always an effort. Unlike other kids who could disappear into an imagined world, he read (and still reads) very attentively, falling into an enjoyment of great sentences.

The NYT‘s “Sunday Book Review,” as we noted earlier, also says that Haslett learned the craft of sentences well, writing that the book is “ambitious and stirring” and that “it sneaks up on you with dark and winning humor, poignant tenderness and sentences so astute that they lift the spirit even when they’re awfully, awfully sad.”

As is her practice, Nancy asks Haslett to share some of his favorite titles and he lists the work of Amity Gaige and Paul Harding with whom he went to MFA school.

Imagine Me Gone was selected as a May Indie Next pick and is on Time magazine’s  “Best Books of 2016 So Far.” 


Netflix Finds Their Grace

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

9780385490443The title role in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of  Margaret Atwood’s 1996 historical crime novel, Alias Grace (PRH/Anchor; OverDrive Sample) will be played by Sarah Gadon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the novel, Atwood explores the true story of a double murder that took place in Canada in the 1840’s. Like a 19th century version of Serial, the question of whether the poor young Irish immigrant Grace Marks was guilty of killing her employer and his housekeeper captured public attention at the time.

The novel received critical acclaim winning The Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. It was also named to the ALA Notable Book list, and picked as one of the year’s best novels by The New York Times as well as by Booklist and Library Journal.

Reading Francine Prose’s description of the plot in the NYT Sunday Book Review, you can see what attracted the producers to the story about “a pretty young woman who was either the loathsome perpetrator or another innocent victim of an infamous crime” and imagine the pitch, “Making a Murderer meets Penny Dreadful.”

Netflix has not yet set a release date for the series.

Critical Mass: HOMEGOING

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

9781101947135_24878A million dollar debut, won in a ten-bidder auction, is on the verge of becoming the literary hit of the summer, Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample).

It is featured on multiple seasonal reading lists including those by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, B&N, and BuzzFeed and is both an Indie Next selection and a LibraryReads selection, with this recommendation from Amanda Monson, of the Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA:

“An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.”

The novel is gaining serious and thoughtful review coverage as well, in pieces that note Gyasi’s achievements while pointing out perceived lapses. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan reviewing it on Fresh Air yesterday, says Gyasi “pulls her readers deep into her characters’ lives through the force of her empathetic imagination,” but adding, “Homegoing would have been a stronger novel if it had ended sooner .. As the novel moves forward into our own time the pressure to wrap up the two storylines intensifies, and contrivance comes to the fore.”  NPR also interviewed Gyasi for Weekend Edition Saturday.

Slate‘s books and culture columnist, Laura Miller, writing for The New Yorker, says that the novel “shows the unmistakable touch of a gifted writer, and Homegoing is a specimen of what such a writer can do when she bites off more than she is ready to chew” adding, “Taken in as a panorama, Homegoing can be breathtaking.”

Reviewing for the upcoming NYT Sunday Book Review, Isabel Wilkerson, author of the nonfiction title,  The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, says, barring some troubling clichés, the novel is a work of “beauty” and “The narrative unfolds through self-­contained stories, some like fables, others nightmares, that shift between the family lines in West Africa and America, each new protagonist a limb of the disrupted family tree. Characters reappear in dreams or retellings as the action moves from the Cape Coast to Kumasi to Baltimore to Harlem.”

The WSJ profiles the author and offers a review [subscription may be required], saying “Ms. Gyasi doesn’t always make it work … Yet it’s refreshing to read a novel with a sense of historical imminence. Contemporary American fiction frequently seems to exist in blank isolation from world events. Not so Homegoing, where wars and laws directly shape the characters’ destinies, often across generations.”

The million-dollar advance serves as a hook for media attention, catching the eye of high circulation magazines such as Vogue, which runs a double profile of Gyasi and Emma Cline, author of another big-ticket summer debut, The Girls, complete with a photo of the two together in designer outfits, because they “bear comparison for more than the ambition and incisiveness of their prose, imaginative risk-taking, and seven-figure book deals.” Of Homecoming, Vogue says, “No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country.”

Costco Joins the HAMILTON Party

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

9781594200090_4ee8fThe newest pick from Costco book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello is far from new, but it is certainly all the rage: Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton (PRH/Penguin, 2004).

In making her choice Ianniciello says:

“From mentions on podcasts to small talk at the salon, that name is on many people’s lips. So, I thought I’d go back to the book responsible for all the hubbub … What I love most about the rekindled popularity of this book is that its brains and newly found street cred make it a book the whole family can enjoy.”

In a feature  in the Costco Connection, Chernow recounts his meeting with the Broadway sensation’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, saying he was “flabbergasted” when Miranda told him “that as he was reading my book, ‘hip-hop songs started rising off the page.’ ”

Chernow also describes what it is like to live in the wake of the Broadway hit: “Every time I see the show and these enormous crowds, I pinch myself with wonder that I somehow triggered off this Hamilton mania.”

The award-winning historian (who trained as an English major) has been experiencing that wonder often, as we wrote earlier, he told the The Wall Street Journal “I never dreamed that I would be autographing Playbills … [this year has been] a biographer’s wish-fulfillment fantasy.”

9780743288781_d9ab0Also featured this month is Annie Proulx’s Barkskins (S&S/Scribner, S&S Audio), which Costco calls “her magnum opus, a literary force majeure.”

The glowing review tracks the long germination of the novel, begun 30 years ago and mulled over and researched for decades. The writing of it, according to The Wall Street Journal, took close to a decade as well. The end result is, says the Costco reviewer,a “novel that howls, grieves, lilts and erupts with urgency, authority and something that looks a lot like hope.”

It is also the pick of several summer reading lists, catching the eye of Amazon’s Editors, B&N, BuzzfeedSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and USA Today. Canadian librarians agree, selecting it as the #1 title in their June Loan Stars picks.

Critics Take on THE GIRLS

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

the-girlsConsumer media attention began months ago for Emma Cline’s debut The Girls (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample),


when Random House bought it in a three-book deal with the 25-year-old for a rumored $2 million. Film rights were also purchased by producer Scott Rudin.

Due for release on June 14, eager reviewers have jumped on it a full two weeks in advance of publication (now that consumers can pre-order titles, reviewers seem less bound by publication dates).

The NYT Sunday Review posted theirs on Monday. Reviewer Dylan Landis, herself the author of a debut novel that was well-reviewed in the NYT BR, likes Cline’s book, a lot, calling it “a seductive and arresting coming-of-age story hinged on Charles Manson, told in sen­tences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry.”

Even the New Yorker‘s esteemed critic James Wood takes it on, beginning his review by piling on praise, averring that he doesn’t “mean this as the critic’s dutiful mustering of plaudits before the grim march of negatives,” but still, even with that, by the end he is not fully impressed, saying “Despite these many qualities, The Girls never entirely succeeds in justifying itself.”

The Washington Post‘s critic Ron Charles acknowledges that “The hubbub around The Girls threatens to trample what’s so deeply affecting about it,” and seeks to cuts through the buzz to say the book really is as good as its hype, noting “The most remarkable quality of this novel is Cline’s ability to articulate the anxieties of adolescence in language that’s gorgeously poetic without mangling the authenticity of a teenager’s consciousness.” and ending, “debut novels like this are rare, indeed.”

Holds Alert: The Mirror Thief

Monday, May 30th, 2016

9781612195148_5ff48Rising on Amazon on the strength of coverage in the NYT’s Sunday Book Review and NPR is The Mirror Thief, Martin Seay (Melville House; OverDrive Sample).

The reviews lavish it with praise. The NYT reviewer, the author Scarlett Thomas, says she “had been planning my glowing review since around Page 150” and that it is “audaciously well written.”

NPR’s reviewer, Michael Schaub, says it is a “thrilling dynamo of a novel [by] a tremendous writer … a startling, beautiful gem of a book that at times approaches a masterpiece.”

What is it about? Neither reviewer wants to say, as too much detail gives away the book’s pleasures and it is a hard book to write about, but Thomas calls it “mystical literary fiction with a hard edge” and offers:

“How could I express that while this novel seems on the surface to be a bit like Cloud Atlas (multiple perspectives, Russian doll structure), it’s more heartfelt, deeper, less of a pastiche? I thought I might describe it as Stone Junction rewritten by David Foster Wallace or Thomas Pynchon with a big twist of William Gibson, Susanna Clarke and Italo Calvino. But I wasn’t sure that would cover it.”

Schaub says it evokes comparisons to Umberto Eco, Saul Bellow, and James Ellroy.

Both agree it is a mesmerizing reading experience. Thomas calling it “demanding, frustrating and oddly enlightening … not The Da Vinci Code for intellectuals. It’s more like Howl translated into Latin and then back again. Over 600 pages. It’s amazing … How this book got published is a complete mystery to me. Not because it is not good enough, but rather because it is too good.”

Schaub says the novel “is as difficult to explain as it is completely original. It’s one of the most intricately plotted novels in recent years, and to call it imaginative seems like a massive understatement. The three stories are as different from each other as can be, and the fact that Seay weaves them together so skillfully is almost miraculous.”

It is also an Indie Next pick for May, with an equally glowing annotation:

“Three stories are linked in this outstanding debut by criminal pursuits and Venice — not so much the actual place, but the idea of that place: in the late 1500s Venice, Italy, a man schemes to steal the most guarded technology of the day — a mirror; in 1950s Venice Beach, California, a thief discovers a mysterious text that seems to have unusual insights about that stolen mirror; and in 2015, a soldier purses the thief in The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas to retrieve the book about the mirror. As the stories draw together, Seay’s thrilling novel dazzles at every turn. Unexpected and amazing, The Mirror Thief will leave readers breathless.” —Jeremy Ellis, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

The indie press novel is doing very well in libraries we checked, either topping a 3:1 holds ratio or showing strong circ. where libraries are ahead of requests.

Nancy Pearl Recommends
IMAGINE ME GONE

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

9780316261357_38751On her weekly radio appearance on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW, librarian Nancy Pearl recommends Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample), calling it a “wonderful, albeit, painful reading experience.”

The novel, told in alternating points of view, explores how depression runs through a family. Nancy says it is centered on the oldest son and progresses forward in time as each character tells their part of the story.

She particularly praised the acuity with which Haslett explores depression, saying she does not think she has ever read another novel that has explored the disease so well. She was also impressed with Haslett’s “amazingly wonderful writing.”

Nancy suggests the novel to readers who like books that explore the human condition and those readers who wish to partake of a character’s life and crises.

She’s not alone in her praise. The novel, Haslett’s second after Union Atlantic and the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, which was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, is getting attention.

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, saying Haslett “illuminates not just madness but what it means to witness it, too.”

NPR’s Scott Simon interviewed Haslett on Weekend Edition Saturday and NPR posted a review as well, in which Heller McAlpin offers, “Haslett’s new novel forcefully demonstrates that he is unrivaled at capturing the lasting reverberations of suicide and the draining tedium and despair — along with the occasionally fabulous flights of fancy — that accompany intransigent mental illness. And he achieves this with an extraordinary blend of precision, beauty, and tenderness”

The NYT‘s “Sunday Book Review” assesses the novel as “ambitious and stirring” and adds, “it sneaks up on you with dark and winning humor, poignant tenderness and sentences so astute that they lift the spirit even when they’re awfully, awfully sad.”