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W S Krauss has commented on (59) products.

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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The Round House (P.S.) by Louise Erdrich
The Round House (P.S.)

W S Krauss, February 28, 2014

An amazing coming-of-age story! The central character is a thirteen-year-old Native American boy, living in North Dakota on the reservation. A terrible crime is committed against his mother. Joe and his father, a tribal judge, struggle to help her survive the ordeal and seek justice for her. Woven in the narrative are stories and myths of the Ojibwe Indians. Joe and his friends, Cappy, Angus and Zack try to investigate the crime on their own, having become frustrated with the official investigation. They find some possible clues near the Round House, a place of worship for those on the reservations. There is some uncertainty whether the crime was committed on the reservation and who would prosecute the case. As a result of this crime, Joe faces difficult situations and choices that demand he begin to see things with a more adult perspective. The characters in this novel were completely real to me, especially Joe with his inner thoughts brought to light by the author. Erdrich excels at bringing the experiences of living on the reservation to her novels and exposing some of the problems that exist between Native Americans and whites living nearby. The novel is really Joe's story, how he deals with tragedy and sorrow and how he learns to deal with the uneven application of justice in his world.
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