Book Reviews

Frank and Lili are roommates in an icy, bleak section of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Each chapter is told from one of their perspectives, as they struggle with the common anxieties of being young and bored.

Sheila Heti’s How Should A Person Be?, a “novel from life” just released in the US (it came out in Canada in 2010), is not the kind of book that comes along often. It’s highly quotable, funny, shocking, anxiety-inducing and, finally, inspiring.

Life is a valuable, irreplaceable, first-hand account of over fifty years of rock ‘n roll history, filled with insights about music making and music makers and told by one great high octane artist who emerges from these pages as endearing, if not lovable

Paul Auster is perhaps the most accessible writer of those considered to be part of the “high establishment.” And you know the echelon I mean—Roth, Morrison, DeLillo, McCarthy, etc. Yet his new novel, which comes out today, is too accessible, toeing a dangerous line somewhere between the inventive plots of Jonathan Lethem (one of Auster’s own protégés) and the facile sentences of Dan Brown.

Hunger, despite it’s bleak subject, is often a comical novel. The narrator expresses a lot of indignation … But what is this indignation directed towards? The world? The worst thing is that there’s nothing really to direct it towards – except perhaps our own nature, which only inspires more indignation.

She goes on to say that “when she [Pamela] became pregnant he took her to the north of Norway and drove for miles over bumpy roads with the inevitable result of a miscarriage.”   Unity (“always the odd one out,” says her sister), fell madly in love with Hitler and, when Britain declared war on Germany, she shot herself in the head with a pearl-handled revolver in a Munich park…