Archive for November, 2009

13 1/2 by Nevada Barr

Great review today by crime fiction reviwer Margaret Cannon in her Globe and Mail Books column (boldface mine):

By Nevada Barr, Vanguard Press, 320 pages, $32.95

This is not an Anna Pigeon novel, but Barr’s legions of fans shouldn’t pass it by. This stand-alone thriller is one of Barr’s best books ever and, once begun, it’s hard to stop reading her harrowing story of bloody murder.

In a note at the beginning, Barr says she has had the idea of a story about a child who murders his family for several years. Her killer is 11-year-old Dylan Raines, “the Butcher Boy” who, in 1968, killed his parents, baby sister and family cat with an axe. The only survivor of the carnage was his older brother, Rich, who, seriously injured, managed to call for help. Rich stands by his little brother through a decade in a juvenile facility and then a new life in New Orleans.

But Dylan hasn’t changed, not really. And as love, in the form of a gallant and lovely woman, herself brutally abused as a child, comes into his life, it appears that the old secrets and fears of the past are about to emerge and explode in her present.

Barr builds this story with her usual intelligence and knack for chilling suspense. You will figure out the “who” on this one pretty fast. It’s the “why” that intrigues, and she saves that one for the very final pages.


Published by Vanguard


November 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Sarah From Alaska

There’s been some confusion, it seems, among Canadian media when it comes to the books on or by Alaska’s infamous governor (remember the turkey!) Anyway,  seems both the Canadian Press and CBC’s The National used the “Going Rouge” (as in French for red –I give you that because I honestly read “Rogue” the first few times I saw the cover) anti-Palin book of essays instead of the actual cover of Palin’s autobiography in stories on the publication. One way to avoid the confusion and get the best read on Gov. Palin is to pick up SARAH FROM ALASKA. Maclean’s writer Brian Bethune has declared it

“the only work [of the three] with even a pretense of neutrality, not to mention a dustjacket with Palin dressed in something other than red … the temperature is considerably lower in Conroy and Walshe’s book. They keep the focus on her weaknesses …. and her strengths.”

Published by Public Affairs

November 18, 2009 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

The Arabs

Robert Fulford reviewed Eugene Rogen’s extensive history of the Middle East: The Arabs in his National Post column.

“So far as he can, Rogan sees the world the way Arabs see it (he’s fiercely anti-Israel) and does his best to sympathize with them as an oppressed race. But his book demonstrates that, while Arabs have surely been exploited, they routinely destroy their own chances of emerging from the coma of stunted development.”


November 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Worse Than War

worse_than_warToday’s National Post ran a full-page excerpt from Daniel Goldhagen’s Public Affairs book WORSE THAN WAR. Goldhagen was in Toronto recently and spoke at a capacity crowd at U of T about the failings of the UN in the face of genocide and offered his prescription for change.

An End to Slaughter

November 13, 2009 at 10:46 am Leave a comment


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