Review: In Veritas, by C.J. Lavigne

In Veritas by C.J. Lavigne My rating: 2 of 5 stars I came to C.J. Lavigne’s debut novel through the recommendation of a friend, with expectations I would find this tale one into which I could immerse and engage. But, alas, it was not to be. Certainly this is an ambitious novel in that Lavigne chooses to tell this story from a foreign and difficult point of view, that of a young woman who experiences…

Review: Galore, by Michael Crummey

Galore by Michael Crummey My rating: 4 of 5 stars Written with Michael Crummey’s highly readable wit and insight, Galore is a rethinking of the story of Jonah and the whale, albeit without the Biblical admonition about destiny. In fact, one might say Crummey refutes the concept of preordination in this family saga rife with pig-headed vengeance, of conversations never opened, of secrets and shames. It is a raw tale, a ridiculous tale, and despite…

Review: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain My rating: 3 of 5 stars Once again I find myself flying in the face of popular sentiment. Somehow I feel I should have gone with public acceptance of Bourdain’s very raw, even visceral, autobiographical journey as a chef, and as an individual. His culinary autobiography is well-written, much to the credit of his ghost writer, and so I cannot give any honest evaluation of…

An explanation regarding my reviews

During a recent discussion with colleagues, a rating for a recent review I’d done was met with surprise. How could I not have given five stars to a novel I had, in fact, very much enjoyed? Allow me to explain It occurred to me my rating system is quite different from that of my colleagues’. They rate according to emotional response, which is quite fine. However, for me, when I’m reading whether for pleasure or…

Review: The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Kite Runner is my introduction to Khaled Hosseini, and it’s a good one. The tale Hosseini weaves is one of sorrow and redemption, primarily set in his native Afghanistan during the fall of the monarchy and the rise of Soviet invasion. Against this backdrop Hosseini creates a relationship between a privileged boy, Amir, in the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, and…