My New Favorite Book: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

The story opens with a corpse. A soldier’s body being prepared for burial in the then frontier state of Missouri circa 1855. So I should not have been surprised by how violent the rest of the book was. But I had never really considered just how much violence was involved in the beginning years of the United States.  Not systematically. And I had just finished … Continue reading My New Favorite Book: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Envy by Yuri Olesha

Can a satirical novel from the early days of the Soviet Union speak to contemporary readers?  Will they even be able to make heads or tails of it?  Russian humor can be, well, different. To be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable reading Russian literature these days.  The stuff I read is old stuff–pre-Soviet and early Soviet era literature and early science fiction genre stuff.  It’s … Continue reading Envy by Yuri Olesha

Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb (Translated from the French by Alison Anderson)

 What I liked most about Amelie Nothomb’s novel Tokyo Fiancée is the way her love story allows her to create such a detailed and wonderful picture of life in modern Japan.  Never having been to Japan, I have no way of knowing how accurate the picture she paints is, however, it is so rich in detail that her version of Japan, whether it is real … Continue reading Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb (Translated from the French by Alison Anderson)