Book Reviews Archive

There is No Year by Blake Butler

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Blake Butler Harper Perennial, April 2011 416 pages $15.99 Literary experimentation has been successfully blended with genre fiction before; Robert Coover’s Ghost Town used the western, and Paul Auster’s New York Triology, noir. And though Blake Butler may not be the first to try the trick with horror, no

Pieces for Small Orchestra

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Norman Lock (illustrations by Sasha Meret) Spuyten Duyvil Press, April 2011 166 pages $16.00 On the surface, Norman Lock’s recent book, Pieces for Small Orchestra, is a collection of two novellas and two stories. Really, it’s a book of many books, all doling out the life (and dream-life) of

A Riot of Goldfish

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A Riot of Goldfish Kanoko Okamoto (Translated by J. Keith Vincent) Hesperus Worldwide, January 2011 114 pages $15.95 David Mitchell, in his fine introduction to this slim volume of two novellas, writes that author Kanoko Okamoto’s great theme is the “frustrated striving for aesthetic perfection.” Certainly her novellas have

The Pun Also Rises

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The Pun Also Rises John Pollack Gotham Books, April 2011 240 pages $22.50 I’ve long loved wordplay, and long been puzzled, too, that many in the literary community don’t—especially, it seems, in my peculiar branch of it in Boston. Aren’t writers meant to be passionate about words and all