5 Most Popular Posts: September 2022
- October 3, 2022
We love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are September’s winners.
- Michael Landweber’s review of The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow). “It’s hard to divulge much more about the story without giving away spoilers. The twists toggle between intriguing and infuriating. This is not necessarily a problem given the relentless action and suspense in the novel, but the reader will need to have a high comfort level with ambiguity to not feel adrift before this book is over. Tremblay presents many questions, but he often shows no inclination to answer them. Some readers might find themselves identifying with Annie Wilkes when they turn the last page, looking for a different ending.”
- Alice Stephens’ review of Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker (The Feminist Press at CUNY). “From the mansion-lined avenues of the Gold Coast to the rundown streets of Anacostia, from the 1980s of Marion Barry’s ‘Chocolate City’ to today’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of the nation’s capital, Camille Acker’s powerful, poignant debut collection of short stories, Training School for Negro Girls, takes us into the unmapped territory of the hearts and minds of a too-often-neglected demographic: black women and girls. Divided into two parts, Lower School and Upper School, the stories range from the loss of innocence that comes so early for the African-American girl to the harsh comeuppances that their adult counterparts often endure.”
- Tom Glenn’s review of The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army by John Crawley (Melville House). “In the years that followed, the rigorously trained Crawley was repeatedly frustrated by the unevenness of the IRA. Many fighters had little or no training. The weaponry included every kind of firearm known to man. IRA commanders ranged from professional to incompetent, with dedicated amateurs comprising the majority. Worse, the Irish in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were divided in their aims: Some wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the republic, others hoped for continued British control, and still others wanted different arrangements altogether.”
- Larry Matthews’ review of Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan by Scott Mann (Simon & Schuster). “Special Forces (aka the Green Berets) is not like the regular Army. Their missions, equipment, and tactics are outside conventional military thinking, and they see themselves as a unique breed, a brotherhood. When it appeared that their Afghan counterparts were to be left to the rage of the Taliban, whose leaders were bent on killing every Afghan who’d aided the U.S., the brotherhood went to work getting them out. That’s what Operation Pineapple Express is about.”
- Carrie Callaghan’s review of Take My Hand: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Berkley). “The 11-year-old, India, doesn’t talk, but her protective older sister, Erica, speaks for both of them. The Depo-Provera needle slides easily into their deep brown skin, and it’s only after Civil has administered the injections that she learns from Erica that the girl menstruates constantly, through her sanitary napkins and without ceasing. And that younger sister India hasn’t menstruated at all. This revelation is the first blow to Civil’s certainty that she is helping.”