Alan Cheuse http://nwpr.org en Book Review: 'Shooting Star' http://nwpr.org/post/book-review-shooting-star Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A 30-year-old novel has just been translated to English but keeps its Spanish name, "Muerte En Una Estrella." The author is Sergio Elizondo, and the translators are Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it crackles.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Elizondo finds a story written decades ago, but still fresh, in incidents from the Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s and '70s. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:13:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 48751 at http://nwpr.org 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome http://nwpr.org/post/book-review-warburg-rome James Carroll, who served as a Catholic priest before his literary ambitions led him to go secular, has gathered together his knowledge of church history and his mature powers as a novelist to create <em>Warburg in Rome</em>, his most splendid work of fiction to date.<p>Though the novel never really settles squarely as either historical fiction or historical thriller, it offers the best of both worlds. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 48178 at http://nwpr.org 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome 'Night Heron' And 'The Director' Provide A Double Shot Of Intrigue http://nwpr.org/post/night-heron-and-director-provide-double-shot-intrigue I suppose it's preaching to the converted to announce that David Ignatius has done it again. But here he is, having written yet another deeply engaging spy thriller, rooted at that point where the intricacies of the intelligence community and the everyday world of civilians converge. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 14:39:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 46964 at http://nwpr.org 'Night Heron' And 'The Director' Provide A Double Shot Of Intrigue McMurtry Takes Aim At A Legend In 'Last Kind Words Saloon' http://nwpr.org/post/mcmurtry-takes-aim-legend-last-kind-words-saloon In a prefatory note to <em>The Last Kind Words Saloon</em>, his first novel in five years, Western writer supreme Larry McMurtry states that he wants to create a "ballad in prose." And he borrows a line from great moviemaker John Ford: "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."<p>Set in the autumn of the 19th century, mainly in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, McMurtry's slender book contains a multitude of familiar and unfamiliar Western characters, including some who do belong to legend as well as history: part-time lawman Wyatt Earp and gun-toting dentist Doc Holliday, back together again. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 46583 at http://nwpr.org A Fractured Tale Of Time, War And A Really Big Diamond http://nwpr.org/post/fractured-tale-time-war-and-really-big-diamond No book I've read all year underscores the distinctions between the long form and the short story more than the award-winning story writer Anthony Doerr's new novel <em>All the Light We Cannot See</em>.<p>The book takes place in Europe — in three locations, mainly — Hitler's Germany, Paris, and the walled seaside town of Saint-Malo in Brittany, from the mid-1930s to the roaring and murderous years of World War II. Sat, 10 May 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 45797 at http://nwpr.org A Fractured Tale Of Time, War And A Really Big Diamond Book Review: 'In Praise Of Hatred' http://nwpr.org/post/book-review-praise-hatred Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In Syria, the 1980s were marked by a bloody civil war between the Sunni majority and the minority Alawite Muslim government. That's now the setting for a novel titled "In Praise of Hatred." It's by Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa. It's now available in the United States and a translation by Larry Price. And Alan Cheuse has our review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: The unnamed narrator opens her episodic story as she's studying a family photograph. For a number of chapters after this she embellishes the faith and the foibles of the family. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:38:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 44787 at http://nwpr.org In 'Paradise,' Finding Understanding In The Ruins Of Horror http://nwpr.org/post/paradise-finding-understanding-ruins-horror Over the course of his long and distinguished writing career, Peter Matthiessen — who died this past weekend at the age of 86 — chased numerous demons, from Florida outlaws to missionaries and mercenaries in South America. In his latest novel, which the ailing writer suggested would be his last, takes us back to a week-long conference held at Auschwitz in 1996. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:21:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 44056 at http://nwpr.org In 'Paradise,' Finding Understanding In The Ruins Of Horror 'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp http://nwpr.org/post/frog-music-sounds-barbaric-invigorating-yawp San Francisco in the summer of the 1876, between the Gold Rush and the smallpox epidemic, is the setting for Emma Donoghue's boisterous new novel, <em>Frog Music.</em><p>There's real frog music in these pages, the riveting cries of the creatures hunted by Jenny Bonnet, one of the two main characters. She's a pistol-packing, pants-wearing gal in a town where pants on women are one of the few cardinal sins, and she scratches out a living catching frogs and selling them to local restaurants.<p>As the book opens, Jenny comes rolling along a busy San Francisco street on a stolen bicycle. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 43768 at http://nwpr.org 'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp A Lyrical Meditation On Grief In 'Falling Out Of Time' http://nwpr.org/post/lyrical-meditation-grief-falling-out-time I am a mortal reader; I have my flaws. I don't usually enjoy prose poems or novels written in lines of poetry, and when I see character types with names in capital letters like the ones that appear in Israeli writer David Grossman's new <em>Falling Out of Time</em> — The Walking Man, the Net Mender, the Midwife, the Town Chronicler — I tend to prepare to pack up, close the book, and turn to something less allegorical.<p>But wow! Tue, 25 Mar 2014 21:55:56 +0000 Alan Cheuse 43351 at http://nwpr.org A Lyrical Meditation On Grief In 'Falling Out Of Time' All Sides Of A Divorce, Told In Fresh, Lively 'Papers' http://nwpr.org/post/all-sides-divorce-told-fresh-lively-papers The "woe that is in marriage," the subject of the Wife of Bath's Prologue in Chaucer's <em>Canterbury Tales</em>, is a great old subject. Susan Rieger's smart and wonderfully entertaining domestic comedy, with all its shifts of tone from the personal to the legal and a lot in between, takes up this old problem and makes it fresh and lively — and in some places so painful, because it has to do with a child torn between two parents, you don't want to go on. But you do. The power and canniness of this bittersweet work of epistolary fiction pulls you along. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 22:20:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 43280 at http://nwpr.org All Sides Of A Divorce, Told In Fresh, Lively 'Papers'