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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Haruki Murakami)

First impressions: interesting, entertaining, puzzling. I’m really interested by how the form of this novel — alternating chapters that initially appear to be in separate worlds but ultimately converge — mirrors the content. Not only does the isolation of the End of the World suit…

Tracks (Louise Erdrich)

Now I can see why so many people recommended this book to me. It’s a very interesting read, especially for someone who’s interested in the things I’m interested in. For one thing, the politics of this novel are really complex. The chapters alternate between two…

The Dew Breaker (Edwidge Danticat)

Oddly enough, this novel somehow ended up on my reading list as a magical realist novel. Now that I finished it, I’m not sure this is really where it belongs. The narrative style is, however, interesting. Each chapter is focalized around a different character; while…

Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Salman Rushdie)

I’ve read this book a number of times now, but every time it has me from the first sentence: “There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name.”…

Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie)

If I had to describe this veritable tome of a book in one word, I’d have to say that that word is INTENSE. I’ve read Rushdie in the past — Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Satanic Verses — and while these texts…

Fool’s Crow (James Welch)

As I read this novel, I was continually distracted by the fact that the characters were Pikuni (Blackfeet), and they were inevitably going to be decimated by novel’s end. Since the text is set in 1870, I knew that westward expansion and broken treaties where…

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Rigoberto González)

This memoir reads like a novel. I think part of that is the disjointed nature of time González writes through — some parts are strictly chronological, but they are interspersed with chapters that move back and forth in the author’s past or that bring the…

Macho! (Victor Villaseñor)

This book had a lot of things going on. It took up politics on so many levels (Chávez and his unions, immigration, loyalty, family, etc.), and there were times when this did stretch the story a little thin for me. However, I think that for…

Runner in the Sun (D’Arcy McNickle)

I just finished D’Arcy McNickle’s 1954 novel about a young boy named Salt who saves his people from … well, from themselves, I suppose. It’s a nice story, although it is written in an almost fable-like language which has the potential to oversimplify its message…