Zone 23 by C. J. Hopkins
Dactyl Review
by VN Alexander
3M ago
In his novel Zone 23 (SS&C Press, 483 pages) expat playwright C.J. Hopkins depicts a society, much like ours at its worse — some six or seven hundred years in the future — when any departures from prescribed ways of thinking are pathologized. Being melancholy, pondering larger philosophical questions, or contemplating the lack of fairness ..read more
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The Coincidence Plot by Anil Menon
Dactyl Review
by Dactyl Review
3M ago
Chances are you’ve never heard of Anil Menon. That’s a shame, but not your fault. Anil Menon is a brilliant Indian author writing wild, brainy and emotionally engaging stories and novels in English. His books, including the main one reviewed here, The Coincidence Plot (Simon & Schuster, 252 pages), are published by presses well known ..read more
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A Book with No Author by Brent Robison
Dactyl Review
by Dactyl Review
4M ago
Like an ancient Buddhist master, Brent Robison is fond of mind benders, and his restless spirit never tires of questioning reality. In his new novel, A Book with No Author (Recital Publishing, 223 pages), Robison’s wicked inquisitiveness is on display out of the gate. In a preface disclaiming Robison’s authorship of the book, he writes ..read more
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There’s Something I Want You to Do, by Charles Baxter
Dactyl Review
by U.R. Bowie
4M ago
The Short-Story Novel There is probably a better term for this, but I don’t know what it is. I refer to a book of short stories, so put together as to feature similar themes and recurrent appearances of the same characters: Charles Baxter, There’s Something I Want You To Do, Penguin Random House, 2015, Vintage ..read more
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Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
Dactyl Review
by VN Alexander
7M ago
Machines Like Me (Nan A. Talese, 352 pages) by Ian McEwan is set in the possible world of the 1980s if Alan Turing had not died in 1954, Kennedy had not been shot in Dallas, and Britain had not won the war in the Falklands. In the story, Open Source information has allowed technological progress ..read more
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Young Pushkin, by Yury Tynyanov
Dactyl Review
by U.R. Bowie
1y ago
Yury Tynyanov, Young Pushkin: A Novel (translated by Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush (New York: Overlook/Rookery) 2008, 515 pp. [the Russian original: Юрий Тынянов, Пушкин (М: Издательство «Правда»), 1981] Introduction This is a historical novel, treating the life of Russia’s greatest poet from the year of his birth, 1799, to shortly after he graduated ..read more
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Drift by Craig Rodgers
Dactyl Review
by Charles Holdefer
1y ago
Sometimes a novel’s originality is less a matter of affirmation than an act of refusal. Refusal to go along with received ideas of how to tell a story or create verisimilitude or even how words signify. Saying no opens up new space, or at least points towards what has been neglected by complacence. Craig Rodgers ..read more
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Forgotten Night by Rebecca Goodman
Dactyl Review
by Dactyl Review
1y ago
In Rebecca Goodman’s novel Forgotten Night (Spuyten Duyvil, 296 pages) the unnamed narrator–we will call her N hereafter–is searching desperately but determinedly for a Madame Brissac. The reader is immediately enlisted in the search and will never leave N’s side, not even after putting the novel down. The night of the title may be forgotten ..read more
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MacLeish Sq. by Dennis Must
Dactyl Review
by Dactyl Review
1y ago
Edward Said, writing about Beethoven’s late style, defined late style as that time wherein the artist freed from the expected cultural and historical restraints of form and content unleashes a newness that both confounds and instructs. Dennis Must has achieved that hour of newness in MacLeish Sq (Red Hen Press, 209 pages). With its visual ..read more
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Commentary on Analysis by George Saunders of Story by Anton Chekhov
Dactyl Review
by U.R. Bowie
1y ago
  “In the Cart” (Yarmolinsy Translation) From the book by George Saunders, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Note: I taught Russian literature in a university for thirty years. Naturally, I was intrigued when the short-story writer George Saunders published a book detailing how he teaches Russian stories in his creative writing classes ..read more
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