by Mark Athitakis | Oct-01-2012
The amount of attention paid to book critics’ opinions may have hit its high point last week, with the release of J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy. Time’s Lev Grossman delivered one of the rare raves for the book, writing that “I had come under the spell of a great novel.” Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times’ David L. Ulin criticized “Rowling's inability to engage us, to invest us sufficiently in her characters, young or otherwise, to reckon with the contrivances of her fictional world.” And the New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani wrote that the book leaves the reader with a “numbing understanding of the difficulty of turning a dozen or so people’s tales into a story with genuine emotional resonance.” (The Guardian rounds up the critical reactions to the novel across the pond.)
Rigoberto Gonzalez considers the novels of Pablo Medina for the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Parul Kapur Hinzen reviews Natasha Trethewey’s poetry collection Thrall for ArtsATL.
Jordan Michael Smith reviews Joseph Crespino’s Strom Thurmond’s America for the Daily Beast.
David Biespiel, in his new poetry column for the Rumpus, discusses difficult poetry.
Carmela Ciuraru reviews Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House for USA Today.
Fred Setterberg reviews three memoirs by musicians, including Charlie Louvin’s Satan Is Real, at Talking Writing.
Jane Ciabattari interviews A.M. Homes about her new novel, May We Be Forgiven, for the Daily Beast.
Joseph Peschel reviews Davy Rothbart’s collection of personal essays, My Heart Is an Idiot, for the Boston Globe.
Rayyan Al-Shawaf reviews Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, for the Christian Science Monitor.
Steven G. Kellman reviews Steve Stern’s story collection The Book of Mischief for the Dallas Morning News.
Mythili G. Rao, Jacob Silverman, and Rob Verger pick three essential new books on modern India for Newsweek.
Your reviews and recommendations help seed these roundups: If you’re an NBCC member with a review you’d like considered for inclusion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get our attention by using the Twitter hashtag #nbcc, posting on the wall of our Facebook page, or joining our members-only LinkedIn group.
About the Critical Mass Blog
Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).
Categories & Archives
- 30 Books |
- Adventures in E-Reading |
- Awards |
- 2007 Awards |
- 2008 Awards |
- 2011 Finalists: 30 Books in 30 Days |
- 2012 Finalists Interviewed at New School |
- 30 Books in 30 Days |
- Live announcement of NBCC Awards finalists |
- Second Thoughts |
- Critical Notes |
- 30 Books in 30 Days 2014 |
- 2014 Awards |
- 2013 Finalists Interviewed at New School |
- 30 Books in 30 Days 2013 |
- 2013 Awards |
- Podcasts |
- 2009 Awards |
- 2010 Awards |
- 2010 Finalists: 31 Books in 30 Days |
- 2011 Awards |
- Articles |
- Craft |
- Celebrating Philip Roth |
- Conversations with Literary Websites |
- Critical Library |
- Critical Outtakes: Discussions With Writers |
- Criticism |
- In Retrospect |
- Industry News |
- Interviews |
- NBCC 35th Anniversary |
- NBCC Campaign to Save Book Reviews |
- NBCC Featured Review |
- NBCC News |
- NBCC Reads |
- Roundups |
- Q&A |
- Remembrances |
- Small Press Spotlight |
- The Critical I: Conversations With Critics and Review Editors |
- The Next Decade in Book Culture |
- The Rest of the Best |
- Thinking About New Orleans: A Series About New Orleans Writers Post Katrina |
- Videos |
- What I'm Looking Forward to Reading