Archive | Book Reviews RSS feed for this archive

Literalab’s Best Books of 2013

1. The Devil’s Workshop by Jáchym Topol (translated by Alex Zucker)             Like my favorite book of the year before, my favorite book of 2013 delves into the ultimate horrors that man inflicts on his fellow man, but does so with a surplus of imagination, suspense and humor. Whereas Selvedin […]

Continue Reading

Book Review: ‘Under This Terrible Sun’

Last month B O D Y published an excerpt from Argentine writer Carlos Busqued’s debut novel Under This Terrible Sun, just recently published in Megan McDowell’s English translation. Now, I have written a review of the book for this week’s Friday Pick. Read the review, read the excerpt, read the novel – not necessarily in […]

Continue Reading

‘Seven Terrors’

On March 7, 2005 the hero of Selvedin Avdić’s brilliant and captivating novel Seven Terrors decides to get up out of bed after nine months of self-imposed apathy as a result of having been left by his wife. Ready to return to life what he actually returns to is horror. Read the book review in […]

Continue Reading

Werfel in new ‘Review of Contemporary Fiction’

The Dalkey Archive Press has just published the Review of Contemporary Fiction: The Future of British Fiction. This is the Fall 2012 issue but don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that we now have months and months of cold weather in front of us (at least I hope it doesn’t). As usual, if you want to […]

Continue Reading

‘The Bridge Over the Neroch: And Other Works’ by Leonid Tsypkin

The two novellas and five short stories that make up The Bridge Over the Neroch: And Other Works comprise the rest of the writing left to us by the author of Summer in Baden-Baden, Leonid Tsypkin. New Directions is bringing the book out in February 2013 and you can read my review in the 2nd […]

Continue Reading

‘Sin’ by Zakhar Prilepin

There are many different ways writers can infuse a story or novel with intensity without much in the way of incident or plot. The movement can occur on symbolic or historical levels, they can mine literary history as their character walks around Dublin or devote all their attention to the beauty of the individual sentences […]

Continue Reading

‘Cynics’ by Anatoly Mariengof

It’s a novel about the early days of the Russian Revolution, the civil war and the famine that ravaged the Soviet Union. The extremes of hunger and poverty are set off against the high living and obscene wealth of those taking advantage of the Soviet government’s New Economic Policy. A story of love and betrayal […]

Continue Reading

VIVO: The Life of Gustav Meyrink

Prague German Writers – Gustav Meyrink He was twenty-three years old and living alone in Prague. A wounded heart caused him to look at his life up to that point as shallow and empty. Gustav Meyrink had just put a farewell letter to his mother in an envelope and reached for his revolver, when he […]

Continue Reading

The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

It begins in Berlin in November 1943 as British bombs gradually do their part in shattering both the illusion and reality of the Thousand-Year Reich. Sergey Nabokov, the gay brother of then still largely unknown Vladimir, blurts out a pro-English statement at the ministry where he works as a translator that he knows full well […]

Continue Reading

Madame Mephisto by A. M. Bakalar

For many people the idea that we invent ourselves is, at the very least, an uncomfortable truth, while for others it is nothing less than blasphemy, a dirty secret to be warded off by waving crosses and national flags. We are where we come from, they say, formed by the way our parents raised us […]

Continue Reading