Year in Review 2010
Best of 2010
A fabulous inquiry into the rapidly disappearing Siberian
tiger and the men who attempt to preserve it. The book is
also a thrilling look at revenge.
Snakewoman of Little Egypt
Hellenga reminds me of Mark Twain in his affection for old,
weird Americana and his bemused attitude. Rarely is depth
such wry fun.
Franzenís structure was a bit cumbersome, but his social observations
more than made up for it. Probably the most ambitious novel
of the year. I couldnít put it down.
Richards with James Fox
Funny, acid and insightful, the Richards autobiography exceeded
my expectations, providing fresh insights into familiar ground.
An appropriately wiry, key addition to the bloated rock canon
(enough with the McCartney bios already).
This biography of tattoo artist/homosexual pioneer/academic
Samuel Steward illuminates early 20th-century American history
by unearthing the story of a man who was simultaneously ahead
of his timeóand victimized by it.
The Lonely Polygamist
Udall is a prodigiously gifted writer who tends to overwrite
from exuberance. His novel explores territory similar to that
of the HBO series Big Love, rendering a polygamous
Mormon family in bright, affectionate colors.
The Same River Twice
Paris stars in this moody thriller about the interface between
politics and the art world. Mooney is a sharp art critic,
deft at characterization. This is modern noir at its best.
From its laminated cover to its watery, palimpsest imagery,
Bodyworld is a knockout of a graphic novel. The Boney
Borough Shaw invents is a world you wonít want to leave, no
matter how creepy. A visual and philosophical delight.
This sequel to The Ghosts of Belfast, also starring
conflicted hit man Gerry Fegan, is a dramatic thriller about
the aftermath of political compromise in Ireland. I wonder
what Nevilleís going to write about Irelandís latest troubles.
A Visit From the Goon Squad
Eganís twined, decidedly nonlinear narrative about aging rocker
Bennie Salazar and his paramour Sasha scrambles time and viewpoint
to intoxicating effect. This novel is the literary equivalent
of trompe líoeil painting. Eganís finest trick is to craft
characters as engaging as her technique is dazzling.