Nothing since "A Confederacy of Dunces" made me laugh at loud so much, and that was 30 years ago. Full of typos, gets even stranger as it goes on for 800 pages, but full of spleen, satire, screeds.
See the full review, ""When doesn't more mean worse?"".
Dares to anger you as well as inspire you: ennui, despair, yet rouses you to consider the possibility of utopia as well as the futility of that aspiration. A novel of ideas in contrary French fashion: subversive.
See the full review, "Better read for its hopeful ideas, not its naughty bits".
It ended too soon even after hundreds of pages, but the masterful editorial intrusion slowly takes you back to Victorian London. Full of research, integrated into a modern version of a "triple decker" novel.
My favorite biography: an Irish gir's reinvention. She sleeps and dances her way to the top of mid-19c Europe, to the Gold Rush, and then down-- as perhaps the first global celebrity? The pace never lags.
See the full review, "Does justice to its subject: a perfect biography".
Erudite, as if told a century ago: British polymath poses as an Arab to live in this half-storied, half-lawless realm. Mixes class elevation with cultural empathy, as if written by one not quite like us.
Scabrous, with his trademark elliptical style. Will provoke, in that Gallic tradition, any sensitive type. He will energize you, force you to feel the early 20c in its WWI horrors and exhilarations mingled.
See the full review, "Life-affirming as well as ferociously humanistic".
Intertextuality's pioneer: a writer writes a novel about characters who turn on their creator. Full of sly parodies of ancient Irish tales, interspersed with pitch-perfect sendups of dismal censored Ireland.
The liveliest ethnographic study I've ever found. Not damned by faint praise. Folklorist's fieldwork from this Northern Irish townland. He eloquently records the tales and songs told--as if poetry on paper.
Instead of inspirational claptrap, this Israeli journalist listens to Jews, Christians, and Muslims as neighbors. He lets us in on honest conversations we'd never be able to hear as visitors, if on our own.
A medical student in early 20c Ireland joins the rebels. As a guerrilla, he reads Shakespeare while he fights the British; he tends for the wounded while he aims his gun. The tensions of idealism add up.
See the full review, "Best memoir from the Irish War for Independence".
Not many can pull off absurdity balanced with delicacy. This third collection shows the author's skill at exaggerating pop-psychology, corporate human potential babble we increasingly adopt as vernacular.
See the full review, ""America, to me, should be shouting all the time"".
Get this with Thackeray's illustrations. They enhance the sad, funny, annoying, intrusive sprawl of this author getting in the way of his story, from Waterloo back to London, in the early 19c rush to affluence.