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Tag Archives: novel

Reactions to A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh


A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh My rating: 5 of 5 stars Savagely, deliciously witty. A paragon of style, A Handful of Dust masterfully maintains a beautiful tension between lightheartedness and bleakness, distance and outrage. Seinfeld has nothing on Waugh when it comes to vacuous characters leading nastily empty lives. View all my book […]

Reactions to “Pop. 1280” by Jim Thompson


Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Unrelentingly bleak, but somehow bearable, even occasionally winning – “Pop. 1280” is classic Thompson. Which means great noir/crime/Americana. The cunning, deranged protagonist deceives the reader as cleverly as he does his fellow characters. A small authorial stumble at the end into Messiah-complex rumination takes […]

Reactions to “Pinot Envy” by Edward Finstein


Pinot Envy by Edward Finstein My rating: 1 of 5 stars I like fun whodunits set in California wine country, but this one doesn’t clear even my low bar. Pinot Envy really should not have seen the light of day. The author lacks fundamental technical writing ability, and his editor apparently did nothing to help […]

Reactions to “Nose: A Novel” by James Conaway


Nose: A Novel by James Conaway My rating: 3 of 5 stars The quintessential “summer read”. A lightweight romance+whodunit that takes place in the wine industry of a barely-disguised Napa Valley. The industry bits are important to the story, but they’re not heavy-handed, superfluous, or distracting. If anything, some of the mistakes in detail even […]