A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence; a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq; a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list; a teenage runaway who is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena; a cabal of dangerous mystics and their enemies – these are some of the characters in David Mitchell’s acclaimed new novel, The Bone Clocks. As in his previous five novels, Mitchell rearranges time and space – transporting readers through six different worlds, from the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future – to tell the interlocking stories of his far-flung characters.
“Ever since her stunning debut novel Final Payments in 1978,” Fran Hawthorne writes in The National Journal, “Mary Gordon has been one of the premier fiction writers in the US, although too often pigeonholed as an “Irish Catholic” author. Her 16 books, including novels, short-story collections, essays, memoirs and a biography of Joan of Arc, have won multiple awards.”
It seems fitting that Lev Grossman would receive a dream review in the New York Times Book Review for the final volume of his fantasy trilogy:
Please help us welcome Amy Bloom to Top Ten Land. The celebrated novelist and short story writer is joining us at a high point: She is receiving warm reviews for her second novel, Lucky Us.
It’s the story of two half-sisters, Iris, who dreams of becoming a star, and Eva, her knock-kneed sidekick who narrates the story. They set off together in 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war.
It’s a Top Ten role-reversal - not once, nor twice, but thrice! – in the New York Times Book Review as famous authors don their critic’s caps.
Jonathan Lethem is something better than talented and brilliant – he’s interesting and surprising. This helps explain his latest project, editing and slightly recasting a novel by a talented yet largely unheralded author, Fridays at Enrico’s by Don Carpenter.
Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa prepare for war.
In our seen it all world, you have to break a few conventions to make a hard-boiled detective novel.
Stephen King does just that in his new novel, Mr. Mercedes. It features a retired cop with a cold case as mesmerizing as a hot dame. In ways that resonate that with today’s headlines of serial killers and random massacres, King’s hero, Bill Hodges, is seeking a mystery man who drove a stolen luxury German automobile into a crowd, killing eight strangers for no apparent reason.
We are doubly pleased to welcome Mona Simpson to Top Ten Land, and not just because she was generous enough to provide us with two lists (one that goes up to 11!) of what she considers the greatest books.
Set in Brooklyn in 2004, it focuses on two brothers – two intensely close underachievers – searching for something in mid-life. One is 38-year-old Barrett Meeks, aimless, lovelorn and gay, who turns to religion for meaning; his older brother, Tyler, is a 43-year-old musician and bartender whose fiancée Beth has terminal cancer and who seeks solace in drugs.