Every writer fantasizes about passionate readers. These were as passionate as they come.
In The Days Trilogy, Expanded Edition, H. L. Mencken comes off as a marvelously mellowed master, his trademark savagery smoothed over, its energy focused on generating a pungently picturesque vision of a vanished America.
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Lucinda Franks’s writing can be brilliant, deeply honest, and startling; other times superficial, sentimental, New Agey, or simply not credible.
Gary Shteyngart’s memoir proffers the rhetorical zest and caustic wit of his novels, but it lacks their satiric edge.
We become increasingly aware that we are in the mind of a doctor who has taught himself to observe carefully, who has an amazingly strong will to survive, and who chooses not to waste precious time and energy on anger or revenge.
Instead of exploring his inner life at the time or his adult understanding of the institution that shelters him, Ngũgi wa Thiong’o draws a dispassionate and largely predictable report of boarding school life.
Into the Garden with Charles reads like a great love letter: beautifully written, full of feeling, a document of an intimate connection that never lost its wonder for the author.
If Wordsworth was right in saying that poetry is emotion recollected in tranquility, than a rugby memoir is a punch in the face reconsidered from a hospital bed.
Claude Lanzmann is a great raconteur who’s honed his narrative skills as a veteran journalist. His memoir is exuberant and provocative at its best; bombastic and superficial at its worst.
A best-seller in France, Emmanuel Carrère’s quirky, but ultimately compelling memoir examines the effects of two disasters on very separate groups of people to whom the writer is connected, at the beginning, quite peripherally.