April 18, 2023

The Great Cyprus Think Tank

With elements of a Shakespearean comedy, Larry Lockridge’s compact but entertaining novel chronicles the temporary triumphs and subsequent mishaps of a group that unites to save the island of Cyprus in 2024.

Following a prologue introducing narrator Bart Beasley, a “midlist author” searching for fresh memoir material, the narrative settles on four of six think […]


April 11, 2023

Valley of Fools

When a young man is released from a psychiatric ward, he must find his way in the world with nothing but a borrowed suit and a suitcase of cigarettes in Brian Martell’s Valley of Fools.

Emerson is 16 when he’s “institutionalized” in the juvenile system for nearly killing his next-door neighbor for setting Emerson’s uncle’s […]


February 28, 2023

Most Famous Short Film of All Time

This insightful, multilayered hybrid challenges genre and narrative in its meditations on literature, philosophy, pop culture, trauma, gender, being, and the nature of time.

In a fictional narrative spanning 2010 to 2016, Lev Ockenshaw is ditched on a date by a terrible boy, argues and makes up with his friend Stanley, fields an email threat […]


January 24, 2023

Out of Wedlock

The third installment in Larry Lockridge’s Enigma Quartet—four standalone but interconnected novels—is set largely in 1990s Greenwich Village and chronicles the life of a plastic surgeon not only searching for meaning in his life (via exploration into his sexuality) but also, ultimately, his identity and purpose as a human being.

Although Jess Freeman is a […]


December 15, 2022

On the Waterfront

In this fictional coming-of-age tale, based on the author’s experiences, a young boy faces his fears in the Oregon outdoors.

Thirteen-year-old Danny Novak is excited to spend his summer as a staff member at Camp Baker on a lake on the Oregon Coast. Despite the minimum age requirement of 15, he was hired because of […]


November 1, 2022

Place of Cool Waters

In Ndirangu Githaiga’s novel, Place of Cool Waters, a young man on a trip is imperiled, but also learns surprising information about his past.

Jude Wilson was adopted as a baby and raised in a small town in Washington state. His adoptive father was a Boy Scout troop leader, and they spent many happy weekends […]


October 3, 2022

Heartbreak Epiphanies and Justified Lust

In Heartbreak Epiphanies and Justified Lust, John Kruxhammer (a pseudonym) offers a strange, chaotic, confusing, but somehow engaging novel.

The story opens in a brothel. There the client, a john named John, requests, instead of sex, to be read aloud from his own manuscript. “We’re not here for that,” says the first girl who refuses […]


September 19, 2022

Visions of Johanna

Peter Sarno’s Visions of Johanna is a beautifully written literary novel about an unlikely pairing.

Matt, the story’s first-person narrator, is a young, freelance music critic during the 1980’s. His life is changed when Johanna, a flamboyant feminist and artist seven years his senior, picks him out at a Bob Dylan concert and they fall […]


July 4, 2022

Nebrodi Mountains: The Billionaire and the Mafia

Set against a picture-postcard landscape in the northeastern region of Sicily, Nebrodi Mountains sheds light on individuals’ abilities to choose their own moral compass.

The storyline intertwines multiple characters and subplots. Early on, the story introduces new billionaire in town, Jerry Johnson, and his wife, along with their budding friendship with a neighboring couple who […]


June 27, 2022

The Escalator

In this tale, members of an English family consider life as it pivots around their mentally unstable husband and father.

The story begins as retired couple William and Cas enjoy a cruise from Genoa to Shanghai. The ocean liner represents a metaphor of sorts for William as he reflects on his recovery from “insanity.” Following […]


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