Wednesday, August 03, 2011

2030: The Real Story About What Happens to America by Albert Brooks

"Comedian and filmmaker Brooks welcomes the reader to the year 2030 in his smart and surprisingly serious debut. Cancer has been cured, global warming is an acknowledged reality, people have robot companions, and the president is a Jew-and oy vey does he have his hands full with an earthquake-leveled Los Angeles and a growing movement by the young to exterminate the elderly. And when the Chinese offer to rebuild L.A. in exchange for a half-ownership stake in Southern California, President Bernstein is faced with a decision that will alter the future of America.

Brooks's sweeping narrative encompasses a diverse cast of characters, including an 80-year-old Angelino left homeless by the earthquake, a trust fund brat with a grudge against the elderly, and a teenage girl saddled with debt after her father's death, all of whom get brought together just in time for a climactic hostage crisis. Brooks's mordant vision encompasses the future of politics, medicine, entertainment, and daily living, resulting in a novel as enterta
ining as it is thought provoking, like something from the imagination of a borscht belt H.G. Wells."

~ Publishers Weekly, LLC

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

LeCraw's thoughtful debut novel tells of two families whose lives are entwined by tragedy, secrecy, and scandal. Marcella Atkinson's heart was broken the night her affair with Cecil McClatchey ended and his wife was murdered. Never entirely cleared as a suspect in her killing, Cecil himself died soon after. Years later, her own marriage destroyed by the affair, Marcella is again thrown into contact with the McClatchey family when her daughter Toni (ignorant of her mother's adultery) is employed by Cecil's daughter, Callie, who for her own reasons must seek solace with her brother Jed in their family's summer home on Cape Cod. Jed's discovery of Marcella's old swimsuit in a closet leads him to her and to an entirely new relationship. VERDICT This exceptionally complex and accomplished novel does not read like the work of a beginning writer. With a strong underlying theme of longing woven throughout, LeCraw's work skillfully takes these characters through varying emotional journeys. An insightful piece, not just for beach or airplane reading. An author to watch.

-Julie Kane, Sweet Briar Coll. Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC