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Christopher McLaughlin has commented on (4) products.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The Age of Miracles

Christopher McLaughlin, January 1, 2013

The earth's rotation is slowing, making days and nights longer. We see these events unfold through the eyes of 11-year-old Julia. While Walker could have tanked this story with cookie-cutter coming-of-age boilerplate or reliance on sci-fi wonkiness, she takes a far more compelling approach. The beauty of this novel is the simplicity and subtlety with which it is written. Straightforward and hyperbole-free, I found it a fantastic weekend read.
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The Motel Life: A Novel (P.S.) by Willy Vlautin
The Motel Life: A Novel (P.S.)

Christopher McLaughlin, August 31, 2012

If you haven't yet experienced a Willy Vlautin book, you are in for a real treat. Willy has been rightly compared to greats like John Steinbeck and Raymond Carver for his depiction of characters on society's fringes. What isn't stressed enough is his deft, light touch that gives even the bleakest subject matter hope and sweetness. Vlautin brings this light touch to 'The Motel Life', and I can't recommend it enough. If you enjoy his books, I would also recommend his band, Richmond Fontaine, for which he is the principal singer and songwriter. Enjoy!
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Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation

Christopher McLaughlin, June 9, 2012

For most of us, Beowulf was compulsory classroom reading - not a curl-up-on-the-couch Saturday afternoon pleasure. I read this translation from Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney a decade after my classroom experience. I couldn't have been more surprised, educated, and entertained. For amateur philologists, the parallel use of Old English and Modern English with helpful margin notes is a treat. Whether you want to read this cornerstone of English-language literature for the first time, or reread it for a fresh perspective, I would highly recommend this translation.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



The Listeners by Leni Zumas
The Listeners

Christopher McLaughlin, June 1, 2012

I love this book. Leni Zumas's masterful command of language makes for an engrossing, entertaining read. The minimal use of conventional exposition lets the story unfold on its own, unencumbered by strictures of chronology, logic, or tradition. This is one of the most powerfully written books I've read in a long time.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



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