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»Even as Death of the Black-Haired Girl barrels along toward its melancholy conclusion, it explicates its characters’ hope that life is not completely random — «people always want their suffering to mean something,» as one character puts it — and their contradictory awareness of the dangers of religious certainty; their understanding that choices have moral consequences and that innocents frequently are tangled and hurt in the crossfire. The result is at once a Hawthorne-like allegory and a sure-footed psychological thriller.«

Michiko Kakutani

A messy affair: Michiko Kakutani about the novel Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Robert Stone. Her review at The New York Times.

»Readers will root for this Bond, of course. Not because he’s James Bond or a close facsimile thereof, but because he’s this thriller’s designated hero.«

Michiko Kakutani

William Boyd, authorized by the Ian Fleming estate to write a new James Bond book, has set his novel in Africa. Michiko Kakutani about Solo at The New York Times.

»Ms. Tartt recounts these developments with complete authority and narrative verve, injecting even the most unlikely ones with a sense of inevitability while orchestrating a snowballing series of events that will grow ever more dangerous as Theo becomes involved with violent criminals who covet The Goldfinch as much as he does. But it’s not just narrative suspense that drives this book; it’s Theo and Boris, the stars of this enthralling novel, who will assume seats in the great pantheon of classic buddy acts (alongside Laurel and Hardy, Vladimir and Estragon, and Pynchon’s Mason and Dixon), taking up permanent residence in the reader’s mind.«

Michiko Kakutani

A Dickensian Novel: Michiko Kakutani about the new novel The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Her review at The New York Times.