Category: Contemporary literary fiction

  • Anchored in the dilemma

    Bob Moyer, an avid reader, often goes through books at a rapid pace. But those tend to be mysteries. This novel, he says, forced him to slow down. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer JACK. By Marilynne Robinson. Farrah Straus Giroux. 309 pages. $27. Marilynne Robinson has produced three novels centered on the fictional village of […]

  • Walter Mosley, the short version

    Years ago, a review by Bob Moyer introduced me to the works of Walter Mosley. Since then, I have read many of Mosley’s outstanding  and evocative mysteries, including many  of the early ones I had missed.  Now I’ll have to add this book of stories to my reading list. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE […]

  • A story for our times

    I’ve enjoyed many of Chris Bohjalian’s books, some more than others. This one sounds especially — even oddly — timely, and pretty scary. I’m not sure I want to read it, but I’ll pay attention to what Bob Moyer has to say. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer RED LOTUS. By Chris Bohjalian. Doubleday. 367 pages. […]

  • A storm brewing…

    Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer WEATHER. By Jenny Offill. Alfred A.  Knopf. 224 pages. $23.95. Lucy toggles. “Toggles” is the word author Jenny Offill used in a recent interview to describe the interior switching in the life of her narrator. In this remarkable exploration of the effect of climate change on a woman’s life, Lucy moves […]

  • Why we read fiction…

    Yes, Bob Moyer reads a lot of mysteries, detective stories and thrillers. But he also savors a good literary novel from time to time. Here’s one of his recent finds. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE DUTCH HOUSE. By Ann Patchett. HarperCollins. 337 pages. $27.99. Every now and then, a book comes along that reminds us why […]

  • A story to savor

    Bob Moyer reviews a book he says takes a familiar story and makes it new, a story that’s a pleasure to read. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THIS TENDER LAND. By William Kent Krueger. Atria. 460 pages. $27.  You’ve met this bunch of kids before–a ragtag group suffering abuse, in this case the only three […]

  • She’s back…

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson OLIVE, AGAIN. by Elizabeth Strout. Random House Audio. Read by Kimberly Farr. 12 1/2 hours; 10 CDs. $45. Also available in print from Random House. Anyone who met Olive Kitteridge in Elizabeth’s Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 book of interrelated stories by that name, will remember that blunt, sometimes abrasive retired […]

  • Our boys, our nation

    Here’s the latest from our roaming correspondent, Bob Moyer, ever an eclectic and thoughtful reader. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer NICKEL BOYS. By Colson Whitehead. Doubleday. 213 pages. $24.95 Colson Whitehead is an important writer. He’s a good, sometimes great writer, yes, but above all — he’s an important writer. He homes in on material […]

  • Young men, and love and war

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson CHANCES ARE… By Richard Russo. 11 ½ hours. 9 CDs. Read by Fred Sanders. $40. Also available in print from Knopf. 301 pages, $26.95. Some books are considered “women’s fiction,” a label that does not in itself indicate inferior quality. Many, in fact, are very good. Lee Smith’s “The Last […]

  • Sons and mothers and Jackie O.

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson THE EDITOR. By Steven Rowley. Penguin Audio. Read by Michael Lee. 10 ½ hours. 9 CDs. $40. Also available in print from G. P. Putnam’s Sons. What an original and wonderful idea for a book: James Smale is a struggling would-be writer in New York City in the early 1990s, […]