bestnom1000x50

Book Reviews

Latest Articles

FILM_TyBurr_cMichaelLionstar_slot_list

Ty Burr's Gods Like Us

Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr's provocative new book Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame (Pantheon) traces the evolution of screen idols from Florence Lawrence (the Biograph Girl of 1909 — remember?) to Snooki. But he himself had a rou

By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 12, 2012
list_TJILodro_66

Twenty-nine-year-old Buddhist teacher Lodro Rinzler is the cool kid's Buddhist.

In his new book, Rinzler spells out mindful compassion for the millennial set, making room for one-night stands and cocktails on the weekend.
The sound of one hand clapping
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  February 10, 2012
list_Shucked_66

Erin Byers Murray digs for Duxbury bivalves

The first time I ate an oyster it was swamped with a tangy mignonette to avoid any hint of unpleasant squishy sea-creatureness.
Shucking, but not jiving
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  November 25, 2011
devil all the time review

Donald Ray Pollock's over-the-top gothic

Donald Ray Pollock's first novel is called The Devil All the Time , and that's exactly what's wrong with it.
Biblical fury
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  July 08, 2011
o list

Daniel Orozco gets to work

"Temporary Stories," the eighth entry in Daniel Orozco's debut collection, Orientation (Faber and Faber), is a gem and a killer.  
On the jobs
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  May 20, 2011
adrian list

Chris Adrian's tragic enchantments

Chris Adrian's novels puff you full of delight, then rip your heart out. Adrian's a sadist, maybe. Or maybe he's got the biggest heart of any living writer, so big that it can hold the sweetest thoughts alongside shame and also death — real death, in all
Magic night
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  May 13, 2011


Books list

Jonathan Hayes knows whereof he whiffs

Forensic scientists, bit players in crime fiction since the era of Sherlock Holmes, became bestseller material in the 1990s with Patricia Cornwell's cut-and-slice procedurals featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.  
Murder most foul
By JUSTINE ELIAS  |  April 22, 2011
PK list2

David Foster Wallace's The Pale King

All I can do is tell you how I read the book.
Final words
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  April 15, 2011
Mankell list

Mankell says goodbye to his hero ? and his readers

Henning Mankell has no respect for his readers. That's the only conclusion possible after finishing his latest, The Troubled Man , but it has been a long time coming.  
No fun
By CLEA SIMON  |  April 01, 2011
1010_spies-list

Lawton and le Carré share their information

Information is dangerous currency.
Data basics
By CLEA SIMON  |  October 08, 2010
1009_vince_list

Review: Tattoos and Tequila

I bought The Dirt , Mötley Crüe's 2002 autobiography, the day it was published. I got home from the store, sank to the floor, had a nice cry (it had been hot out and my finger hurt), and started reading.
Oh Crüe world! Vince Neil lets us down — hard
By STUART ALLEN  |  September 18, 2010


1006_beattie_list

Maximum pleasure

Ann Beattie emerged in the 1970s in the pages of the New Yorker with a cast of post-grad characters who smoked pot, bummed around, fell in and out of relationships, and faced the world with a shrug and the latest rock and roll on the stereo.
Ann Beattie hasn’t been sleeping
By JON GARELICK  |  July 02, 2010
1006_mitchell_list

Dutch courage

When you've already written a novel like Cloud Atlas , which travels from 1850 to the apocalyptic future and back again, writing a historical novel might be redundant.
David Mitchell's Jacob de Zoet revises historical fiction
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 25, 2010
1006_sloan_list

Girls talk

There's only one thing more dangerous than being an ambitious, attractive twentysomething female stumbling through the publishing industry, attempting to secure quantifiable career success and, also, a fantastic boyfriend: the impulse to write about it.
Sloane Crosley and Emily Gould tell all
By SHARON STEEL  |  June 18, 2010
1006_waters_list

Role model?

John Waters gets up close and personal
John Waters gets up close and personal
By SHAULA CLARK  |  June 04, 2010
1005_amis_list

Echo chamber

As Under-Secretary of the Ted Hughes Rough Riders (Boston Chapter), I have been delighted by two recent developments.
Men are from Martin Amis, women are from . . . ?
By JAMES PARKER  |  May 07, 2010


1004_clowes-list

Interview: Daniel Clowes

"If you had told me then that there would be cute girls coming to comic conventions in 15 years, I would’ve told you you were out of your mind."
On going from Enid to Wilson
By MIKE MILIARD  |  April 30, 2010
1003_mosley_list

Tired sleuth

Has Walter Mosley gone off crime fiction? With the creation of Easy Rawlins in 1990, Mosley perfected the African-American side of the genre — along with a poetic and insightful take on post-war LA up through the 1960s — in 11 consistently solid books, t
Can Walter Mosley kick the crime-novel habit?
By CLEA SIMON  |  March 19, 2010
1003_yann_list

Booking it

Spring fiction goes international, starting with a whiff of the Caribbean.
Fiction, non-fiction, poetry
By BARBARA HOFFERT  |  March 12, 2010
ST_030510_GGuy_list

Review: The Good Guy

Writer/director Julio DePietro's first effort is every bit as obvious as it sounds, thudding from one symmetrically perfect cliché to another.
As much fun as chlamydia
By BRETT MICHEL  |  March 05, 2010
1002_banville_list

Infinite pleasure

Admit it, fellow scribblers. You'd sell your soul to come up with an opening sentence like "Of the things we fashioned for them that they may be comforted, dawn is the one that works."
John Banville's playful universe
By ED SIEGEL  |  February 19, 2010


1002_romneybook_list

Romney's new character: Macho man

Few things are more predictable than a GOP presidential candidate posturing as a he-man protector of America, and depicting his Democratic counterpart as an effete, appeasing girlie-man on the dangerous world stage.
In his new book, Mitt makes himself over as a muscular defender of America
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 12, 2010
1001_bloom_list

God of love

Amy Bloom is known for her psychological acuity, especially as it bears on the subject of love. In her new collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out , her characters — often very knowing — are nonetheless surprised by the undertow.
Amy Bloom once more into the breach
By SUSAN CHAMANDY  |  January 22, 2010
1001_bloom_list

God of love

Amy Bloom is known for her psychological acuity, especially as it bears on the subject of love. In her new collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out , her characters — often very knowing — are nonetheless surprised by the undertow.
Amy Bloom once more into the breach
By SUSAN CHAMANDY  |  January 22, 2010
1001_kiinngg_list

Searching for Stephen King

In 1983, Doubleday published yet another book from the increasingly renowned Stephen King, whose Carrie and The Shining (to name just two) were already popular books and movies.
A new biography presents facts but not a full story
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 15, 2010
BOOKS_author011510_list

Walk hard

In Joshua Ferris's unsparing second novel, Tim Farnsworth doesn't know why he walks, but nothing but exhaustion can stop him.
Joshua Ferris abandons the office and hits The Road
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 15, 2010


0912_cave_list

2009: The year in books

Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best books the Phoenix reviewed in 2009.
True stories - fact and fiction
By JON GARELICK  |  December 25, 2009
0902_singleman_list

Review: A Single Man

Christopher Isherwood published his novel about a middle-aged homosexual grieving for a lost lover, the frank depiction of gay desire scandalized some readers.
Colin Firth stands alone
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 25, 2009
912_micaehl_list

GI blues

"I think to an extent all soldiers come back with PTSD. If you do what we do and see what we see, if you're not affected in a deep way, then that's a problem."
A former Army medic tells his story
By CLEA SIMON  |  December 04, 2009
0909_goodall_list

Interview: Jane Goodall

If only there were more trees to be torn down, we could utilize them . . . to fill newspapers with the endless depressing stories out there about the environment and all its hapless inhabitants.
Creature comforts
By LANCE GOULD  |  September 25, 2009