A young Pakistani fresh out of Princeton joins a cut throat NYC firm. 9/11 happens into his first year which makes him question his motives. Told from flash back as he is being questioned by an American in Pakistani – never quite certain what his current state is. Interesting quick read. I just read that they recently made this into a movie – doesn’t make any sense how that can be given the nature of the novel.
PJH rating: ****
Two academic couples meet while they are starting as Instructors at U of Wisconsin in the 1930’s and become lifelong friends. The novel, told from the point of view of one of the husbands, apparently very autobiographical, jumps around the decades starting and ending in the 1970’s during the death of one of the four. Such great writing and story telling. Very emotional. Written in 1987 this was Stegner’s last novel, written when he was in his late 1970’s. I’ve never heard of him – I wish I remember where I read to read this. Brilliant.
PJH Rating: **** 1/2 (and 3/4)
A family has been dealing with the disappearnce of their 11 year old boy for four years when he miraculously is found and has been kidnapped and abused during that time. Told from the viewpoint of the parents, and brother, it’s a nicely written story dealing with a difficult subject.
A 70’s year old widow knocks on the door of her neighbor, a 70’s year old widower and asks him if he would be interesting in sleeping over a few nights a week as she is lonely. An interesting courtship / family dynamics tale ensues. This was Haruf’s last novel before he died last year. I enjoy his sparse novels, the simple language, and while this is not one of his best, it’s a nice quick enjoyable read.
PJH Rating: ****