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A R Pickett has commented on (11) products.

Shards by Ismet Prcic

A R Pickett, January 1, 2013

A remarkable achievement of both voice and tone. The shifting and blending perspectives of the narrator and the "shadow character" of Mustafa kept this reader slightly off her comfort zone and deeply engrossed.

Author Prcic's first language is not English, which makes his accomplishment even more remarkable. Not only the best book I read in 2012, but it joined the short list of best overall books I have assembled since 1998.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Searching for Tamsen Donner (American Lives) by Gabrielle Burton
Searching for Tamsen Donner (American Lives)

A R Pickett, January 2, 2011

One of the best books I've read in a very long time. A very engrossing combination of personal memoir, travelogue, adventure story, and history. Author Burton has a life long fascination with Donner, who was the wife of the leader of the Donner party, stranded in the High Sierras on their way to California. She combines the story of her own personal goal to maintain a life for herself as a writer, while raising five children.
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Lead Poisoning
Lead Poisoning

A R Pickett, December 2, 2010

Enjoyable debut novel follows the life of a career criminal, working in the lower levels of a Manhattan crime organization. When he intervenes in a tense situation, and discovers he has made a misstep, he leaves New York to find his estranged wife living with their two sons in New Hampshire. The family tentatively begins to build a unified life, but the reader remains aware of developments which will threaten their collective futures.
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Searching for Tamsen Donner (American Lives) by Gabrielle Burton
Searching for Tamsen Donner (American Lives)

A R Pickett, November 30, 2010

I heard about the author Gabrielle Burton in a discussion on National Public Radio, and something about the tone of the comments sent me in search of this book. It took a little doing - eventually I got a copy through Inter Library Loan. It is a real shame that the book was hard to find, because it's one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've had in a very long time. She skillfully combines a biography of Tamsen Donner with a memoir of her own experience raising a family and her determination to keep a place in her life for her own identity as a writer. Along the way she throws in an entertaining "road story" of her family's retracing the path of the Donner party, and for good measure adds a dollop of a classic American adventure tale of the expansion of the West. Not many authors can combine themes so skillfully.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Falling Man: A Novel by Don DeLillo
Falling Man: A Novel

A R Pickett, June 28, 2007

The somewhat jerky pace of the book comes to abrupt and chilling coherence in the last ten pages, when DeLillo finally turns to portraying what the moment of impact must have been like. At that point the experience of reading the first two hundred pages comes close to seeming worthwhile.

I find I am a little exasperated that other equally worthy treatments of 9/11 have been ignored in the hoopla surrounding FALLING MAN. I refer other readers to Jess Walter's THE ZERO, S J Rozan's ABSENT FRIENDS, and Laila Halaby's ONCE IN A PROMISED LAND.

As writers of every stripe respond to that day, we will reap a rich heritage of worthwhile reading. Other authors have paved the way, let's not ignore them!
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(12 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)

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