Alan Cheuse http://kgou.org en Historical Trauma Makes For Thrilling Fiction In 'Officer And A Spy' http://kgou.org/post/historical-trauma-makes-thrilling-fiction-officer-and-spy For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called "Belle Epoque," the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer. His latest novel, <em>An Officer and a Spy</em>, is set during this period of peace and prosperity between the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the lead-up to the First World War. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 20:46:05 +0000 Alan Cheuse 22246 at http://kgou.org Historical Trauma Makes For Thrilling Fiction In 'Officer And A Spy' Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived http://kgou.org/post/written-secret-behind-iron-curtain-corpse-revived Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:27:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 19918 at http://kgou.org 'Nasty Piece Of Work' Makes Spy-Turned-PI Work Well http://kgou.org/post/nasty-piece-work-makes-spy-turned-pi-work-well Alan Cheuse reviews Robert Littell's newest novel of a CIA agent turned private investigator, A Nasty Piece of Work. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:29:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 17670 at http://kgou.org A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages http://kgou.org/post/coming-age-story-ice-ages Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Robinson has chosen a broad and effective means for including everything that he knows and everything he imagines about the world of 30,000 B.C. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 15046 at http://kgou.org Book Review: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish' http://kgou.org/post/book-review-love-dishonor-marry-die-cherish-perish Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The writer and humorist David Rakoff died last year at the age of 47 of cancer. He left behind his final work: a brief novel in verse with the long title "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish." It was published today, and Alan Cheuse has this review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: This short but abundantly populated novel in verse had quite an effect on me. It's all I can do to write a novel in prose, but a novel in rhyming couplets with a story that keeps my attention and exudes beauty and the suffering attendant upon a human predicament? Wed, 17 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 9778 at http://kgou.org Book Review: 'Skinner' http://kgou.org/post/book-review-skinner Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Charlie Huston is a Los Angeles-based writer known for his superhero comic books and crime novels. Alan Cheuse couldn't wait to get his hands on Huston's latest thriller called "Skinner." Here's his review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Charlie Huston's 2010 novel "Sleepless" bowled me over. What a powerful combination of combustible plot and fiery language. So here's his new novel in my hands. It's called "Skinner," and it's a huge letdown. Mon, 08 Jul 2013 20:15:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 9201 at http://kgou.org Book Review: 'Where Tigers Are At Home' http://kgou.org/post/book-review-where-tigers-are-home Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has just traveled to Brazil and back in an 800-page novel. The book is called "Where Tigers Are At Home." It's by a French novelist named Jean-Marie Blas de Robles and it's just out in English. Here's Alan's review.<p>ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: A Frenchman named Von Wogau, a divorced and retired journalist, lives in a small town in the northeastern region of Brazil. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 1990 at http://kgou.org Brutality, Balkan Style In A Satiric 'Stone City' http://kgou.org/post/brutality-balkan-style-satiric-stone-city From Swift to Orwell, political satire has played a major role in the history of European fiction. Much of it takes on an allegorical cast, but not all. <em>The Fall of the Stone City</em>, an incisive, biting work by Ismail Kadare — one of Europe's reigning fiction masters — refines our understanding of satire's nature. Kadare's instructive and delightful book takes us from the 1943 Nazi occupation of a provincial Albanian town, the ancient stone city of Gjirokaster, to the consolidation of communist rule there a decade later. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 643 at http://kgou.org Brutality, Balkan Style In A Satiric 'Stone City'