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Arthur Less has always lived in the shadow cast by his relationship with a brilliant poet. His measure as a writer has always been eclipsed by the stature of his lover. Less decides to accept invitations to a series of minor literary events around the world, because they provide a convenient excuse to avoid attending the wedding of another lover. Intermingling with people from other cultures, he regains a sense of his own value both as an individual and an artist. A dryly funny and immersive novel with a protagonist whose self-doubts will be very familiar to all of us. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
A young woman is certain that her relationship with an introverted scientist is destined for failure after meeting his parents at their isolated farm. During the trip back home, as a snowstorm increases in ferocity, she finds herself abandoned in a school where the sole occupant seems to be a tall, thin man who doesn't look at all friendly. This compact, cerebral thriller has a sly way of delving into the deepest of the reader's fears. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
The Up Stairs Lounge was a popular gathering place for gay men in New Orleans in 1973, a time when the city dealt with homosexuals by pretending they were invisible. That ended when someone set a fire at the foot of the wooden stairway that led up to the crowded bar. The ensuing inferno killed 32 people and forced the entire nation to begin to confront the cruel marginalization, ignorance, and prejudice directed at the gay population. The societal ramifications of the tragedy marked an important milestone in the country's constant struggle towards a greater tolerance and respect for minorities. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
The police and the district attorney are certain they have got their man after a local teacher's fingerprints and DNA connect him to the vicious killing of an 11-year-old boy. The problem is that the suspect has irrefutable proof he was somewhere else at the time of the murder. What begins as a dark mystery drifts into territory that Mr. King has expertly traversed for a long time. Compulsively readable and as unnerving as an extended stay at the Overlook. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
After her father's death, 17-year-old Jessilyn Harney sets off to find her older brother, a notorious outlaw, in the hope of convincing him to return home and help tend the family farm. She disguises herself as a man and parlays her skill with a firearm into a job with the territory's rich and ruthless Governor, a man obsessed with bringing her brother to justice -- dead or alive. This is a robust, brawling, and exciting story of frontier life, reminiscent of "True Grit," set in a sweeping and unspoiled landscape where the powerful inherit the earth and the meek return to dust. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves