Jonestown; Sweet Tooth; Exotic Pets

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bk121119Fondakowski.jpgLeigh Fondakowski has interviewed many, if not most of the survivors of the largest mass suicide in history, and the result is Stories from Jonestown, which is partly journalistic, part documentary, part oral history, peering into the abyss of that event in ways that no one has to date been able to do.

bk121119McEwan.jpgI don’t think it is too much of a spoiler to say that Ian McEwan's latest, Sweet Tooth, set in 1970's Cold War London, is another unreliable narrator novel. It is far from a perfect book, and undoubtedly not his best, but just as On Chesil Beach about the 1960's, Amsterdam on the 1990's, this is part, in a way, of an ongoing epic about a particular class and its waxing and waning fortunes in Britain.

bk121119Wagman.jpgDiana Wagman's The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets is a literary psychological thriller from a Los Angeles author. Featuring a 6-foot iguana named Baby, a kidnapped housewife and a lot of fun retooling the LA fictional mainstays like formerly-famous actresses and a parade of other sun-bleached misfits. Wagner takes a connoisseur's pleasure in the perversions of others, with a literary artist's empathy.



Tom Lutz


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