Feature

Also of interest...authors and characters reimagined

Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter by Tom Carson; A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano; The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez ; The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown by Paul Malmont

Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter
by Tom Carson
(Paycock, $25)
Tom Carson’s “ingenious” novel finally offers fans of The Great Gatsby a look at what happened after that novel’s “mournful” final pages, said Steven Moore in The Washington Post. Pamela Buchanan narrates, dishing on her mother’s post–Gatsby morphine addiction and her own days under Nick Carraway’s guardianship. But it’s what happens later in Pamela’s Zelig-like life that makes Carson’s book a page-turner. “You’re unlikely to find a more compulsively readable novel this year.”

A Good Hard Look
by Ann Napolitano
(Penguin, $26)
One can almost imagine Flannery O’Connor railing against “how idiotic it would be” to turn her into a fictional character, said Gina Webb in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Were she alive to read Ann Napoli­tano’s debut novel, she might reconsider. Set during the last five years of the author’s life, “against a background of screaming, caterwauling peacocks (O’Connor’s beloved, ever-expanding flock),” this is an irresistible, “decidedly un-Gothic” version of the great novelist’s final days.

The Secret History of Costaguana
by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
(Riverhead, $27)
Juan Gabriel Vásquez has a score to settle with Joseph Conrad, said Alberto Manguel in the London Guardian. “On a mission” to reclaim his country’s literary territory from the English novelist, the Colombian author imagines a confrontation between Conrad and a fictional narrator after Conrad has pillaged the narrator’s story to write his novel Nostromo. Vásquez’s “forceful, masterly” book gives readers a Colombia “far removed from the European exotic perception.”

The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown
by Paul Malmont
(Simon & Schuster, $26)
Paul Malmont’s “rambunctious pulp adventure” takes its inspiration from an unlikely real-life alliance, said Andrew Dunn in Bloomberg.com. During World War II, the U.S. military pulled together a group of science-fiction writers to brainstorm ways to defeat the Axis powers. Malmont has grafted onto this historical oddity a plot full of “death rays, subterranean vaults, and secret passages”—plus a cameo by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

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