Reviewer: CR

By this author

Books June 24, 2017

No More Boats

Although this novel opens with the disappearance of Harold Holt and ends with the collapse of the Twin Towers, most of it is focused on a brief, important moment that feels both distant from the present day and uncomfortably close. No More Boats

Books June 17, 2017

Gravity Well

Gravity Well is about Lotte and Eve, two intelligent women who start out as friends and whose relationship, over time, develops into something harsher, deeper and odder, as they both swerve between a number of diverging plans and desires. It’s …

Books June 03, 2017


In 2007 Inga Simpson, not yet a successful novelist, is stuck on a wearying conference call when she first sees the cedar cottage that will change her life. It sits in a misty forest and is up for sale. Simpson and her partner, a writer known here as …

Books May 06, 2017

Disappearing Off the Face of the Earth

This second novel from David Cohen, a well-regarded short-fiction author, concerns Ken, whose narration seems deliberately bland; he’s a bit of a no-hoper but one competent enough to have opened a depressing self-storage facility in a desolate part …

Books April 15, 2017

The Impossible Fortress

The Impossible Fortress, the fiction debut from Jason Rekulak, also a publisher, is the first-person story of Billy, a smart, nice-natured and befuddleable 14-year-old living in “the Armpit of New Jersey”.  The late-’80s world of Billy …

book March 11, 2017

How to Murder Your Life

[TOC:ul In this story] The non-fashion world met Cat Marnell in a New York Post column in June 2012 headlined “Drugs More Fun than Work”, which reported that Marnell, a “drug-addicted beauty columnist” for online site xoJane, …

Books February 18, 2017

The Refugees

[TOC:ul In this story] In this sophisticated collection by Vietnamese-American Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize last year, eight individuals seek meaning from the past, or just as often, find this meaning …

Books January 28, 2017

The Trees

[TOC:ul In this story] You can argue all you want about the timeless value of literature, but surely at least some of it is seasonal. This year the Australian summer was particularly late, which makes it feel earned, and with this comes the sense that …

Books November 19, 2016

Swing Time

[TOC:ul In this story] In a review of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth published in 2000, James Wood used the book to open a discussion of the “big contemporary novel”, characterising this kind of work as “a perpetual-motion machine that appears …