BOOKS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Book Review Round-Up

Miss some of the weekend's book reviews? We're back again to catch you up with a book review round-up of the newest in fine literature and in... well, Al Roker murder mysteries.

'Devil's Dream", Madison Smartt Bell
The New York Times

[I]t's not in Forrest but in the intricate structure of the novel that Bell has powerfully placed its moral center, which is a recoiling horror at the carnage of war.

"¡OBÁMANOS!", Hendrik Hertzberg
The New York Times

[W]hile "¡Obámanos!" might not have the advantage of hindsight, it does take you right back to how it felt during those giddy months of 2008. For Obama's supporters, grown wobbly during these awkward days, it could be a welcome escape.

"Invisible", Paul Auster (and other novels of Paul Auster)
The New Yorker

One might tolerate the corny [Rudolf] Born, and his cinemaspeak, if Adam Walker, who narrates much of the novel in one way or another, were not himself such a bland and slack writer. He is supposed to be a dreamy young poet, but he's half in love with easeful cliché.

"Time", Eva Hoffman
LA Times

By turns meditation and social commentary, essay and observation, "Time" is a work that, like its subject, is difficult to categorize.


"Too Much Happiness", Alice Hoffman

San Francisco Chronicle

[Hoffman's] canvas may be small, but her brush strokes are fine, her vision encompasses humanity from its most generous to its most corrupt, and the effect is nothing short of masterful. Let's hope she has many more stories in her.

"The Original of Laura", Vladimir Nabokov
The Guardian

It seems likely that, had Nabokov finished it, The Original of Laura would indeed have been an important work, if not necessarily a masterpiece.
Yet the problem is that he didn't finish it and, in fact, he was a long way from doing so.

"Poisoned Pens", Edited by Gary Dexter
Wall Street Journal

"Poisoned Pens" is a delightfully malicious compilation of literary invective across the centuries, registering the less than kind views of one author for another. We always knew that the profession of writing was as cut-throat as any other. Now we can see little authorial daggers doing their malicious work.

This one isn't quite a review, but do you really need one for an idea like this?

"The Morning Show Murders: A Novel", Al Roker
USA Today

"They'll all be (set) at a morning show," Roker says as he chats in his cubbyhole of an office between appearances on camera. "Or maybe late-night shows! We might have to kill off a late-night host!"