The Literary Outpost

The Literary Outpost Blog

Where All Light Tends to Go

Where All Light Tends to Go David Joy Penguin Several years ago my bookshop carried a memoir by Richfield, NC native Tom Moose titled Only the Things that Matter:  Yet Another Appalachian Trial Memoir.  Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy, which is a novel, not a memoir, could be subtitled “yet another [...]

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Minnow James E. McTeer II Hub City Press James McTeer, in his first novel, gives his readers a unique coming of age story placed in Lowcountry coastal South Carolina and set sometime in the undesignated yet familiar past.  It is a story that takes some days, in number, we aren’t certain; more than a few, [...]

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Free Men

Free Men Katy Simpson Smith Harper Some fifteen months ago I reviewed Katy Simpson Smith’s first novel, The Story of Land and Sea, on this blog, and I was not exceptionally kind in the review.  In that first book I rather struggled to maintain my interest in the story, and although the author’s writing was [...]

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Last Stories and Other Stories

Last Stories and Other Stories William T. Vollmann Viking Prolific author William Vollmann continues to be prolific; Last Stories and Other Stories is comprised of thirty-two stories over six hundred fifty-some pages and is purported by the author to be his final book, with any further books to come being written by a ghost.  A [...]

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Byrd Kim Church Dzanc Books Addie, brother Sam, mother Claree, are in Carswell, North Carolina.  Roland is in Birmingham, Alabama.  It is 1965, summer, and when Roland and his family moves to North Carolina very shortly, everyone’s life will change, especially for Byrd, who doesn’t even exist yet. Over many pages and a lesser yet [...]

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The Wonder of All Things

The Wonder of All Things Jason Mott Mira Books Jason Mott gives his readers another amazing story set in small town North Carolina, following up his more science fiction The Returned with The Wonder of All Things, a novel that could be described as magical realism on one hand and on the other a book [...]

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The Big Seven

The Big Seven Jim Harrison Grove Press Following The Great Leader, Harrison gives has readers another faux mystery Sunderson novel with The Big Seven.  Regular readers of the Sunderson series will know what to expect as retired police detective Sunderson pursues another case on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; drinking, gunplay, and the sixty-six year-old-detective [...]

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The Story of Land and Sea

The Story of Land and Sea Katy Simpson Smith Harper I wasn’t certain this review was going to happen.  Sheila began by reading Katy Simpson Smith’s debut novel and made it through the first section before putting it down.  I picked it up and barely made it through the first chapter before setting it aside.  [...]

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The Painter

The Painter Peter Heller Knopf “One of the things I had read about crows somewhere is that they are much smarter than their station in life.  I mean, unlike other birds, it takes them about two hours every day to secure enough food to survive and the rest is play time, electives.  They are so [...]

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The Paying Guest

The Paying Guests Sarah Waters Riverhead Sarah Waters continues her trend of writing proper British novels, and that is no disparagement, as her latest offering gives the reader the opportunity to experience the agony of murder, and murderous relationships, from all angles including from the inside out.  It didn’t start out that way, or, at [...]

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