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Customer Comments

W S Krauss has commented on (60) products.

Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Harbour

W S Krauss, June 24, 2014

Swedish author Lindqvist has been compared to Stephen King. While I can see the comparison, I actually think Lindqvist may be the better writer. The novel Harbor is a blend of horror and fantasy, with wonderful descriptions of the tiny island town and landscape where the story unfolds. Anders, his wife Cecilia and their six-year-old daughter Maja go out on a frigid sunny day to walk across thick ice to a nearby lighthouse. When they are briefly preoccupied , Maja disappears. After two years goes by, during which Anders and his wife divorce, Anders returns to the home they had occupied on the island. He is comforted by the presence of his grandmother and her long time partner, Simon. After more than two years of heavy drinking, Anders finally sobers up enough to begin trying to figure out what happened to Maja. I don't want to give away all the interesting subplots, but I will just say, strange things are happening with the sea. This was a fast-moving and fun book. Like most of Stephen King's novels, you read this sort of book for entertainment and diversion. Don't take it too seriously. This would be a perfect book for the beach or vacation.
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And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed

W S Krauss, June 22, 2014

Hosseini's writing seems to get better with each book, and his stories more involved. This novel, set in Afghanistan, Paris and California, centers on Abdullah and Pari, siblings in a small impoverished village in Afghanistan. The history of Afghanistan provides the backdrop for the book. From there, the story branches out to extend to other family members over time and place. We see how actions affect others and choices that are made change lives. The characters are deeply developed and the stories emotional. A very satisfying read!
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1Q84 (Vintage International) by Haruki Murakami
1Q84 (Vintage International)

W S Krauss, June 21, 2014

1Q84 crosses genres. It is a love story, speculative fiction and fantasy. The two main characters meet briefly as children and affect each other's lives until they finally meet again. That said, there is a very long road to travel before they see each other again. Aomame stumbles into a parallel world she names 1Q84. Tengo is called upon by a friend in the publishing industry to edit a story written by a high school girl for entrance into a literary contest. These actions create a cascade of events that lead the characters to each other. It is an astonishing book, full of themes and imagery. I enjoyed this book immensely and see why it is being called Murakami's masterpiece.
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Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Carry the One

W S Krauss, May 10, 2014

After a wedding, a group of people in a car strike and kill a 10-year-old girl. This book is about grief and guilt and how it affects people in different ways. I enjoyed the writing, the characters, the humor and the way Anshaw brings leftist politics of the time period into the story. It also shows how tragedy can bring people together in a very lasting way, while others are torn apart by it.
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Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
Stone Arabia

W S Krauss, March 8, 2014

This book tells the story of Denise, a forty-something divorced woman, and her older brother Nik, a musician and artist. Denise takes care of her mother, whose memory is declining. She also watches out for her brother, who hasn't really made much money, but who has put out a string of albums, most of which are heard only by close family and friends. He records every nuance of his life as a musician in The Chronicles, a series of books that detail every move in his career, some of it fake. For example, there are fake record reviews that Nik has written included in the books. There are many themes in the novel including relationships with family, memories, our reactions to world events and the meaning of art. It begs the question whether one is an artist if the art is not shared with the world. This novel doesn't answer many of its questions. It does, however, get you thinking about these issues. The structure of the book is as unconventional as its characters. I came to care about the people in the book, but did not really understand them. I found this frustrating; but, at the same time I found it impossible to put down. I wanted to see where the story went and if there was any resolution for Denise and Nik.
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