Reviews and Articles in General Publications
Monday 2 October 2000
§ New York Times Book Review October 1, 2000
The title of The Telling ... may reveal more about the book's virtues and flaws than she realizes. ... We are told about, but we never feel, Sutty's personal stake in her task on Aka. For all her eagerness to share her vision, Le Guin has forgotten that even in didactic fiction, showing is always preferable to telling.
[M]ore ambitious than anything Chabon has yet attempted, and every risk he takes pays off. If there are one or two places where he integrates his historical research a little awkwardly, it's a small price to pay for an otherwise seamless performance. Richly imagined and unexpectedly moving, ''Kavalier and Clay'' shows a thoroughbred author writing at the peak of his talents.
a wondrous place, a punctilious bureaucracy that records the births, marriages and deaths of all its city's citizens under the nearly godlike direction of the great Registrar himself, whose every twitch sets his dominions quaking...
Publishers Weekly September 25, 2000 [not online]
And in the Children's section, a review of R.L. Stine's new series, and a [non-starred] review of Philip Pullman's highly-anticipated The Amber Spyglass (Knopf), with an accompanying interview. The review advises that the book
may well be the most controversial children's book of recent years. The witch Serafina Pekkala, quoting an angel, sums up the central theme: "All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.... The rebel angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed." Early on, this "Authority" is explicity identified as the Judeo-Christian God, and he is far from omnipotent: his Kingdom is ruled by a regent. ... Stirring and highly provocative.
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