Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Margaret Millar’s Wives and Lovers (1954; 2016)

Readers familiar with Margaret Millar’s suspense novels, will immediately recognize her style and language in Wives and Lovers. (Just yesterday I discussed Vanish in an Instant, another volume in the Syndicate reprint series.)

“It was a shoebox of a room, with the ceiling pressed down on it like a lid, and Gordon and herself, two mis-mated […]


Joshua Ferris’ To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (2014)

Inherently uncomfortable. Essentially intimate. The relationship between dentist and patient is complex, contradictory.

Little Brown & Company, 2014

Most of us view that relationship from the perspective of patient, so Paul O’Rourke’s voice has the potential to be illuminating, unique, fresh.

In earlier works, Joshua Ferris has vividly inhabited the working worlds of advertising, law, and scriptwriting; […]


Mending: The Sisters Brothers

Unforgettable design, no?

Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers House of Anansi, 2011

So I’m chatting about this book, about the scene with the ‘dentist’, and I announce that I agree that it’s unfair that he doesn’t get paid for his ‘services’, but dismiss it quickly by saying that at least they didn’t kill him.