Some new finds from the long weekend:
Pacific by Tom Drury. On the surface, Dryry’s slim novel is a disarmingly plain tale about people managing loss. But look closer, and you’ll see it’s as deep as the ocean it’s named after.
This Is Your Captain Speaking: A Novel by Jon Methven. A plane carrying 162 passengers loses power and makes a miraculous emergency landing in the Hudson River, propelling the pilot to instant media stardom. It is here that the novel departs, rather hysterically, from recent real-life events.
Istanbul Passage: A Novel by Joseph Kanon. An expatriate American and sometime spy gets entangled in a final job after World War II in this novel. Kanon pulls us into his noir world, where men’s motives may be as shabby as the dilapidated city that surrounds them, and no one is quite all he seems.
The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel by Adam Johnson. I succumbed to mass hype of this one. It deals with intertwined themes of propaganda, identity and state power in North Korea. The novel was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. It is April 1962. A beautiful blond American actress, a dying beautiful blond American actress, mysteriously arrives alone and by boat to the dock of “a rumor of a town,” the fictitious Porto Vergogna on the Italian coast south of Genoa.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Finally got this one, $9 for overstock hardcover since the paperback came out. The heroine of is Hadley Richardson, the athletic, sturdily built, admittedly unfashionable homebody who married Ernest Hemingway in 1921. They were divorced in 1927. Hadley was, by all accounts including this one, a very fine and decent person, but she was the starter wife of a man who wound up treating her terribly.