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Sounds Like Crazy: A Chevron Ross Book Review

I wish I could grant this novel a five-star rating. Though spoiled by vulgar language and an explicit sex scene, Sounds Like Crazy is one of the most original and well-executed novels I’ve ever read. Holly Miller, a thirty-year-old waitress, shares her life with The Committee, five inner personalities born…
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November 25, 2022
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Far from the Madding Crowd: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Structurally, Far from the Madding Crowd is about a fickle young Englishwoman trying to do two things for which she is unqualified: run a farm and juggle suitors. Bathsheba Everdeen, a poor but beautiful maiden, inherits her uncle’s farm shortly after refusing a marriage proposal from Gabriel Oaks, a good-hearted…
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November 18, 2022
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Desperate Characters: A Chevron Ross Book Review

A cat bite is the through-line for this novel of despair about a childless middle-aged couple who feel the world crumbling around them. Otto and Sophie Bentwood live in a declining section of Brooklyn Heights. Otto has just dissolved his law partnership with Charlie Russel due largely to personality differences.…
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November 11, 2022
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The Trial: A Chevron Ross Book Review

The frustration a reader encounters with The Trial is a key to understanding what makes it a great novel. It is a series of absurdities reflecting the very nature of human institutions. Joseph K., a prominent bank official, awakens one morning to find himself under arrest. He doesn’t know what he’s…
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November 4, 2022
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Landslide: A Chevron Ross Book Review

“No one will love you more or be meaner to you than your kids,” says a character in Landslide, Susan Conley’s moving novel about a woman struggling to raise two teenage boys. Jillian Archer, a fisherman’s wife and documentary filmmaker, chronicles her daily battles with Sam and Charlie as her…
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October 28, 2022
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Under the Net:A Chevron Ross Book Review

What drives Under the Net is the clever way Iris Murdoch uses elements of a mystery novel to develop her theme. Jake Donaghue, the narrator, is content with his role as a mediocre writer and book translator until forced to vacate his London flat. His search for new lodgings takes…
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October 21, 2022
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Evidence of Things Unseen:A Chevron Ross Book Review

Combining poetic narration, endearing characters and folksy dialogue, Marianne Wiggins paints a beautiful marriage portrait in Evidence of Things Unseen. Ray Foster, an amateur scientist and survivor of mustard gas poisoning in France, falls in love with Opal Fiske, daughter of a North Carolina glass blower, while visiting Kitty Hawk to…
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October 14, 2022
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Mort(e):A Chevron Ross Book Review

Novelists are cranking out apocalyptic sagas like link sausages these days. So it’s refreshing to find one that rises above hackneyed formulas to create a parable of faith and perseverance. Author Robert Repino ventures beyond George Orwell’s Animal Farm into new territory. Sebastian, soon to be renamed Mort(e), is content…
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October 7, 2022
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The Master and Margarita:A Chevron Ross Book Review

Let me admit up front that I could not have understood this novel without the introduction written by Orlando Figes that appears in the translation I purchased. Let me also suggest that if you decide to read The Master and Margarita that you read the introduction last. It’s much more…
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September 30, 2022
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: A Chevron Ross Book Review

I often review books from bygone eras because I admire the standards that make them classics. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, from 1943. Modern authors can learn a great deal about writing from this book. Though its situation is commonplace – a…
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September 23, 2022