Category Archives: Book Reviews

Pocket Knives and Plastic Horses

“… most of the objects form the secret constellations of our irrecoverable past, returning only in dreams where nothing but the dreamer is lost. They must still exist somewhere: pocket knives and plastic horses don’t exactly compost, but who knows … Continue reading

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Opening Lines: The First 3 Paragraphs of The Chimes by Anna Smaill

I’ve been standing here forever. My arms and legs and head and even my bones are heavy with sleep. Clothes heavy with the rain that won’t stop falling. Shoes heavy with mud. My roughcloth bag is slung over my shoulder … Continue reading

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Strange Magic by Syd Moore

You had one job, Strange Magic. One job. That was the entertain me. And you nailed it. Strange Magic, by Syd Moore, is a British mystery – not a murder mystery. People were killed, but it was a long time … Continue reading

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The Geographer’s Library; Half Delight, Half Disappointment, and Still I Recommend It

Jon Fasman published The Geographer’s Library in 2005. Fasman now is the editor on the Asian desk at the magazine The Economist. He spent several years in Russia and neighboring countries; when it comes to the east, it’s probably fair … Continue reading

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Vacation Guide to the Solar System

There is a lot of exciting information out of space these days. We’re finding out all sorts of cool things from outside our star system, but the facts we’re finding about our own solar neighborhood grow more amazing every day. … Continue reading

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The Adventure of the Crawling Horror; In Which I Get Snarky

I bought a fiction anthology called Dark Detectives last week. It was an impulse buy. It’s edited by Stephen Jones and published by Titan Books, who also publish the Mammoth series as well as a bunch of Lovecraftian anthologies. Dark … Continue reading

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A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem

Usually when I read a book I have some idea what’s going on. I can see at least the outlines or a faint shadow of the author’s intent. With A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem, I cannot say that. Oh, … Continue reading

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After the Parade by Lori Ostlund; I Loved it From Page Four.

When Lori Ostund’s After the Parade opens, Aaron is getting ready to leave a relationship of more than twenty years, and move from Albuquerque to San Francisco. Everything he owns is in a U-Haul truck in the driveway. On the … Continue reading

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Summerlong: My Personal Reaction to a Work of Great Beauty that Ultimately Failed

SPOILERS     SPOILERS    SPOILERS     SPOILERS     SPOILERS     SPOILERS When I heard that Peter Beagle had written a fantasy novel about an older couple whose lives intersect with ancient gods, set in the Puget Sound area, my expectations were very high. I was … Continue reading

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Warp by Lev Grossman

In his foreword to Warp, Lev Grossman says that it took him four years to write it, from 1992 through 1996. That seems a little surprising at first, since it is about 180 pages long, but he clearly did not … Continue reading

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