Alan Cheuse http://kunm.org en McMurtry Takes Aim At A Legend In 'Last Kind Words Saloon' http://kunm.org/post/mcmurtry-takes-aim-legend-last-kind-words-saloon In a prefatory note to <em>The Last Kind Words Saloon</em>, his first novel in five years, Western writer supreme Larry McMurtry states that he wants to create a "ballad in prose." And he borrows a line from great moviemaker John Ford: "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."<p>Set in the autumn of the 19th century, mainly in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, McMurtry's slender book contains a multitude of familiar and unfamiliar Western characters, including some who do belong to legend as well as history: part-time lawman Wyatt Earp and gun-toting dentist Doc Holliday, back together again. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 45825 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'Bark' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-bark Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Writer Lorrie Moore is known for her clever word play and incisive wit. Now, she's out with a new collection of short stories, her first in 16 years. It's called "Bark." Alan Cheuse has our review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Maybe I was so dazzled by the brilliance and power of the two longest stories in this collection that I couldn't read the other pieces, which I found a little off-kilter or too subtly played, without feeling a certain amount of loss. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 41778 at http://kunm.org Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived http://kunm.org/post/written-secret-behind-iron-curtain-corpse-revived Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:27:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 39366 at http://kunm.org 'Nasty Piece Of Work' Makes Spy-Turned-PI Work Well http://kunm.org/post/nasty-piece-work-makes-spy-turned-pi-work-well Alan Cheuse reviews Robert Littell's newest novel of a CIA agent turned private investigator, A Nasty Piece of Work. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:29:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 37983 at http://kunm.org A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages http://kunm.org/post/coming-age-story-ice-ages Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Robinson has chosen a broad and effective means for including everything that he knows and everything he imagines about the world of 30,000 B.C. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 21:37:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 36097 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-love-dishonor-marry-die-cherish-perish Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The writer and humorist David Rakoff died last year at the age of 47 of cancer. He left behind his final work: a brief novel in verse with the long title "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish." It was published today, and Alan Cheuse has this review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: This short but abundantly populated novel in verse had quite an effect on me. It's all I can do to write a novel in prose, but a novel in rhyming couplets with a story that keeps my attention and exudes beauty and the suffering attendant upon a human predicament? Wed, 17 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 32270 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'Skinner' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-skinner Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Charlie Huston is a Los Angeles-based writer known for his superhero comic books and crime novels. Alan Cheuse couldn't wait to get his hands on Huston's latest thriller called "Skinner." Here's his review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Charlie Huston's 2010 novel "Sleepless" bowled me over. What a powerful combination of combustible plot and fiery language. So here's his new novel in my hands. It's called "Skinner," and it's a huge letdown. Mon, 08 Jul 2013 20:15:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 31854 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'The Mehlis Report' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-mehlis-report Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Our book reviewer Alan Cheuse is excited to introduce the work of Rabee Jaber. He lives in Lebanon, and his novel "The Mehlis Report" takes place there. In Beirut, the characters await the real Mehlis report, which analyzed the watershed moment in Lebanon, the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: First of all, this novel is a bittersweet love song to Beirut. Mon, 01 Jul 2013 20:44:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 31556 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'Where Tigers Are At Home' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-where-tigers-are-home Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has just traveled to Brazil and back in an 800-page novel. The book is called "Where Tigers Are At Home." It's by a French novelist named Jean-Marie Blas de Robles and it's just out in English. Here's Alan's review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: A Frenchman named Von Wogau, a divorced and retired journalist, lives in a small town in the northeastern region of Brazil. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 26467 at http://kunm.org Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell http://kunm.org/post/under-ogawas-macabre-metafictional-spell It used to be a truism among critics of British poetry that Keats and most of his fellow Romantic poets worked in the shadow of John Milton. I'm not making a perfect analogy when I suggest that most contemporary Japanese writers seem to be working under the shadow of Haruki Murakami, but I hope it highlights the spirit of the situation.<p>You certainly get that feeling of being haunted by Murakami when you begin reading the "Eleven Dark Tales," as she calls them, in this story cycle by Yoko Ogawa. The situations seem made for Murakami's particular blend of the real and the fantastic. Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:20:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 25224 at http://kunm.org Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best http://kunm.org/post/wintry-mix-alan-cheuse-selects-seasons-best It's that time of year again — the leaves have fallen, the dark comes early, the air brings with it a certain chill — and I've been piling up books on my reading table, books I've culled from the offerings of the past few months, which because of their essential lyric beauty and power stand as special gifts for you and yours.<p>They sometimes seem at odds, the lyrical impulse and the narrative impulse. Fri, 07 Dec 2012 19:48:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 22251 at http://kunm.org A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best Book Review: 'Dear Life' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-dear-life Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel with good news for short story fans.<p>Canadian writer and master of the short story Alice Munro has published a new collection. It's called "Dear Life." And our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it's a must read.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: "Dear Life," dear means precious. It can also mean expensive. Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:40:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 21501 at http://kunm.org A Midcentury Romance, With 'Sunlight' And 'Shadow' http://kunm.org/post/midcentury-romance-sunlight-and-shadow New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! And Mark Helprin's new near-epic novel makes it all the more marvelous. It's got great polarized motifs — war and peace, heroism and cowardice, crime and civility, pleasure and business, love and hate, bias and acceptance — which the gifted novelist weaves into a grand, old-fashioned romance, a New York love story that begins with a Hollywoodish meet-cute on the Staten Island Ferry.<p>"To be in New York on a beautiful day is to feel razor-close to being in love," Helprin writes. Wed, 26 Sep 2012 20:16:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 19136 at http://kunm.org A Midcentury Romance, With 'Sunlight' And 'Shadow' Book Review: 'God Carlos' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-god-carlos Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Now to the 16th Century and the Spanish port of Cadiz. It's the setting for "God Carlos," a new novel by Jamaican-born writer Anthony Winkler, who takes us on a voyage to the New World. Wed, 12 Sep 2012 01:57:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 18447 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'The Renegades' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-renegades Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>A woman plays the hero in a new military thriller set in Afghanistan. Author Tom Young served there and in Iraq as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard. Mon, 27 Aug 2012 21:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 17743 at http://kunm.org Alan Cheuse Reviews 'The Colonel' http://kunm.org/post/alan-cheuse-reviews-colonel Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The Iranian novelist Mahmoud Dowlatabadi has published nearly 10 works of fiction. His latest novel has been censored in his home country. Mon, 09 Jul 2012 20:11:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 15338 at http://kunm.org Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse http://kunm.org/post/sail-summer-novel-picks-alan-cheuse <strong> </strong>Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, <em>word</em> <em>music </em>it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond. Thu, 14 Jun 2012 12:23:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 14462 at http://kunm.org Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse Review: 'Hope: A Tragedy' http://kunm.org/post/review-hope-tragedy Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Now, a review of the latest book by Shalom Auslander. It's a novel that incorporates a bizarre representation of one of history's most tragic heroines. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says the book is surprising and infuriating.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: "Hope: A Tragedy" is a rambling quasi-philosophical comedy about a young Jewish business writer and his family who buy a house in a rural New York. Wed, 21 Mar 2012 19:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 10155 at http://kunm.org 'Mrs. Nixon,' An Unexpected Gift http://kunm.org/post/mrs-nixon-unexpected-gift Alan Cheuse reviews a new book from Ann Beattie. Mrs. Nixon tells the story of an author as she tackles the challenge of writing a biography of former first lady Pat Nixon. Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Thu, 10 Nov 2011 20:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 3827 at http://kunm.org Book Review: '1Q84' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-1q84 Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>If you loved the novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," if you loved following the main character, Lisbeth Salander, on her adventures, then our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has good news for you. Lisbeth Salander has a sort of soul sister. She's one of the two central characters in a new novel by a different author. Mon, 17 Oct 2011 19:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 2663 at http://kunm.org Book Review: 'Apricot Jam' http://kunm.org/post/book-review-apricot-jam Apricot Jam is a newly posthumously published collection of short pieces by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Thu, 22 Sep 2011 19:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 260 at http://kunm.org