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The best novels of the nineties : a reader's guide /
by Linda Parent Lesher.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2000.
vi, 482 p.
0786407425 (sewn softcover : alk. paper)
More Details
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2000.
0786407425 (sewn softcover : alk. paper)
general note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 397-456) indexes.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-05-01:
In order to bring some of the best lesser-known novels of the past decade to the attention of the "book professional" and the public, Lesher, a writer, editor, and "lifelong bibliophile," offers this highly browsable book containing plot summaries and review information for 1,033 fiction titles by 710 novelists. The novels, selected from an included list of over 100 review sources, were all published in English between 1990 and the end of 1998. They are divided into eight thematic categories ranging from "The Ties That Bind" (love, family, friendship, and community) to "Unique Perspectives" (race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation); these categories are sometimes broken down further. Traditional genres are also included along with the more inventive categories such as magical realism, geographical identification, and family sagas. The concise, well-written entries, arranged alphabetically by author within each thematic category and then numerically (i.e., books are numbered consecutively), contain paragraph summaries of both the plot and published reviews along with a comprehensive list of the latter. Audio versions, film adaptations, and reading group guides are also noted in each entry and listed in separate appendixes. Superbly detailed author, title, and subject indexes complete this winning reference work. A comparable book, The Reading List: Contemporary Fiction (Holt, 1998. ed. by David Rubel), is not as comprehensive or date-specific as Lesher's and does not contain the useful list of reviews or the thematic breakdown. Lesher's book will assist librarians with readers' advisory, book group discussions, and the creation of book displays. Recommended for all public libraries.--Leah J. Sparks, Bowie P.L., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2000-07-01:
Lesher's book describes 1,033 "critically acclaimed" novels by 710 authors published in the English-speaking world in the "nineties." Some were originally published earlier (e.g., Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, 1988) but were still in print as paperbacks in the '90s. Lesher's failure to define "novel" disappoints readers' in their expectations that science fiction, romance, fantasy, and juvenile fiction will be found (though many are among the "best novels of the nineties"). Criteria for selection of titles include at least three favorable reviews or award of a major literary prize. Titles are organized under eight thematic or categorical sections, then listed alphabetically by author. Entries consist of a one-paragraph summary of the novel and a one-paragraph selection of representative review excerpts. Media adaptation and mention of prizes are included where appropriate. The three appendixes list books available in audiocassettes, in films, or those for which reading group guides are available. A brief biobibliography of each novelist is provided (with some omissions: Nadine Gordimer's half dozen awards, other than Nobel and Pulitzer, are not included). Author-title and subject indexes conclude the book. Useful for public, college, and university libraries. P. Kujoory; formerly, Southern Methodist University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2000
Reference & Research Book News, May 2000
Choice, July 2000
Booklist, August 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
This reader's guide provides uniquely organized and up-to-date information on the most important and enjoyable contemporary English-language novels. Offering critically substantiated reading recommendations, careful cross-referencing, and extensive indexing, this book is appropriate for both the weekend reader looking for the best new mystery and the full-time graduate student hoping to survey the latest in magical realism. More than 1,000 titles are included, each entry citing major reviews and giving a brief description for each book.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Review Media and Abbreviationp. 3
The Ties That Bind: Love, family, friendship and communityp. 5
Unique Perspectives: Race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientationp. 39
Innovatorsp. 61
Pushing the Boundaries: Magical realists, fabulists, postmodernists and othersp. 62
One Step Further: The provocateursp. 112
Geographical Identificationp. 122
The American Southp. 122
Britain and Irelandp. 135
The Former British Empire or Commonwealthp. 150
Australia and New Zealandp. 151
Africa and the Caribbeanp. 160
India, Pakistan and Sri Lankap. 172
Time after Time: Fictional biographies, family sagas, historical fictionp. 183
More Than Meets the Eye: Mystery, thriller, suspense or gothic elementsp. 254
Humor: Gentle, mannered, off-beat, outre, dark, satirical, or picaresquep. 326
Literary Extensions: Drawing on or borrowing from the Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, classics, Greek myths, folktales and fairy talesp. 371
Audiocassette Recordingsp. 389
Film Adaptationsp. 394
Reading Group Guidesp. 395
Bio-Bibliographyp. 397
Author and Title Indexp. 457
Subject Indexp. 467
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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