Alan Cheuse http://wesa.fm en Book Review: 'Angels Make Their Hope Here' http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-angels-make-their-hope-here Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDRED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. Now to 19th-century New Jersey and a new novel. It set among unusually tolerant people. A racially mixed community that offers refuge to independent souls. Alan Cheuse has this review of the novel "Angels Make Their Hope Here" by Breena Clarke.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Clarke calls her Jersey Shangri-La, Russell’s Knob. Where a black community elder named Duncan Smoot heads a couple of families. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:47:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 33052 at http://wesa.fm 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-warburg-rome James Carroll, who served as a Catholic priest before his literary ambitions led him to go secular, has gathered together his knowledge of church history and his mature powers as a novelist to create <em>Warburg in Rome</em>, his most splendid work of fiction to date.<p>Though the novel never really settles squarely as either historical fiction or historical thriller, it offers the best of both worlds. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 31705 at http://wesa.fm 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome McMurtry Takes Aim At A Legend In 'Last Kind Words Saloon' http://wesa.fm/post/mcmurtry-takes-aim-legend-last-kind-words-saloon In a prefatory note to <em>The Last Kind Words Saloon</em>, his first novel in five years, Western writer supreme Larry McMurtry states that he wants to create a "ballad in prose." And he borrows a line from great moviemaker John Ford: "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."<p>Set in the autumn of the 19th century, mainly in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, McMurtry's slender book contains a multitude of familiar and unfamiliar Western characters, including some who do belong to legend as well as history: part-time lawman Wyatt Earp and gun-toting dentist Doc Holliday, back together again. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 29947 at http://wesa.fm Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived http://wesa.fm/post/written-secret-behind-iron-curtain-corpse-revived Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:27:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 21955 at http://wesa.fm A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages http://wesa.fm/post/coming-age-story-ice-ages Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Robinson has chosen a broad and effective means for including everything that he knows and everything he imagines about the world of 30,000 B.C. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 21:37:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 17907 at http://wesa.fm Book Review: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish' http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-love-dishonor-marry-die-cherish-perish Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The writer and humorist David Rakoff died last year at the age of 47 of cancer. He left behind his final work: a brief novel in verse with the long title "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish." It was published today, and Alan Cheuse has this review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: This short but abundantly populated novel in verse had quite an effect on me. It's all I can do to write a novel in prose, but a novel in rhyming couplets with a story that keeps my attention and exudes beauty and the suffering attendant upon a human predicament? Wed, 17 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 13248 at http://wesa.fm Book Review: 'Skinner' http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-skinner Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Charlie Huston is a Los Angeles-based writer known for his superhero comic books and crime novels. Alan Cheuse couldn't wait to get his hands on Huston's latest thriller called "Skinner." Here's his review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Charlie Huston's 2010 novel "Sleepless" bowled me over. What a powerful combination of combustible plot and fiery language. So here's his new novel in my hands. It's called "Skinner," and it's a huge letdown. Mon, 08 Jul 2013 20:15:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 12750 at http://wesa.fm Book Review: 'The Mehlis Report' http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-mehlis-report Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Our book reviewer Alan Cheuse is excited to introduce the work of Rabee Jaber. He lives in Lebanon, and his novel "The Mehlis Report" takes place there. In Beirut, the characters await the real Mehlis report, which analyzed the watershed moment in Lebanon, the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: First of all, this novel is a bittersweet love song to Beirut. Mon, 01 Jul 2013 20:44:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 12411 at http://wesa.fm Book Review: 'Where Tigers Are At Home' http://wesa.fm/post/book-review-where-tigers-are-home Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has just traveled to Brazil and back in an 800-page novel. The book is called "Where Tigers Are At Home." It's by a French novelist named Jean-Marie Blas de Robles and it's just out in English. Here's Alan's review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: A Frenchman named Von Wogau, a divorced and retired journalist, lives in a small town in the northeastern region of Brazil. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 3431 at http://wesa.fm Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell http://wesa.fm/post/under-ogawas-macabre-metafictional-spell It used to be a truism among critics of British poetry that Keats and most of his fellow Romantic poets worked in the shadow of John Milton. I'm not making a perfect analogy when I suggest that most contemporary Japanese writers seem to be working under the shadow of Haruki Murakami, but I hope it highlights the spirit of the situation.<p>You certainly get that feeling of being haunted by Murakami when you begin reading the "Eleven Dark Tales," as she calls them, in this story cycle by Yoko Ogawa. The situations seem made for Murakami's particular blend of the real and the fantastic. Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:20:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 1158 at http://wesa.fm Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell