Fiction: August 2007 Archives

A tale of two Georges

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)

Is there anything creepier than a ventriloquist's dummy? With their rosy cheeks and knowing eyes, they really do possess a certain, let's say, humanness. From the time I read William Goldman's Magic in the late '70s, I couldn't look at my toy Charlie McCarthy doll the same way.

I recently saw a film called "The Ten," which is made up of 10 vignettes, each of which illustrates one of the 10 Commandments. In the "Thou Shalt Not Steal" story, Winona Ryder (oh, the irony) becomes so enchanted with a ventriloquist's dummy on her honeymoon that she stops at nothing to have it for herself — and by "have" I mean ... well, let's not go there. Let us just agree that no good can come from interacting with people made of wood.

But I digress. Wesley Stace — known to music fans as John Wesley Harding — has written By George (Little, Brown, 378 pages, $24.99) ...

By George

Calling Raymond Carver

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

Today's book was chosen first for its title. I thought it might be some kind of coming-of-age novel set at summer camp or an East Coast boarding school.

Upon close inspection of the cover, I see it's a collection of short stories. Dead Boys (Little, Brown, 256 pages, $21.99) is Richard Lange's debut, and it has garnered an impressive list of cover blurbs. Here are but a few ...

Dead Boys

So many nuns, so little time

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

Even though the subject is one of my lifelong fascinations, I don't plan on making a habit (no pun intended, honest) of featuring nun books; I just happened upon yesterday's entry and today's at the same time. One of the nuns featured in yesterday's book, Scary Nuns, was Teresa of Avila, founder of the Discalced Carmelite order, "who liked to whip herself when feeling bad."

Barbara Mujica, in her historical novel, Sister Teresa: The Woman Who Became Saint Teresa of Avila (Overlook, 336 pages, $24.95), tells us quite a bit more about the 16th century sister from Avila, Spain:

"Teresa Sanchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was a heartbreaker....

Sister Teresa