THE STORIES IN Michael Chabon’s second collection, Werewolves in their Youth, showcase his prodigious talents and touch on his major concerns–hope, loneliness, and the powers of the imagination. His work here is stronger and more sure-footed than ever, and fans of his novels The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988) and the more recent Wonder Boys (1995) will be left satisfied and asking for more.
PHILIP CAPUTO’S new novel The Voyage (Knopf, $26.00) is an old-fashioned book. Set for the most part around the turn of the century, it chronicles the adventures of the three Braithwaite brothers as they pilot their father’s schooner Double Eagle down the east coast. As in any boy’s sea story, the young Braithwaites must test themselves against the inevitable calamities to earn their manhood.
JOHN GRISHAM’S ninth novel, The Street Lawyer, follows the basic formula of his other bestsellers, taking a jaded lawyer disillusioned with the American system of justice and–through a series of dire and not always believable events–leading him back to his original idealism through the true promise of those same institutions.
FRED G. LEEBRON’S provocative second novel takes on the frustrations of the young American middle class, born to privilege and fearful they may fail in their expected pursuit of success. By painstakingly dissecting the thwarted aspirations of its main character, Warner Lutz, it serves as a cautionary tale for the nasdaq generation.
SINCE THE mid-’60s, David Cornwell, writing under the name John Le Carré, has given us literate spy thrillers tied in some way to the political zeitgeist of Cold War Britain and by extension Western Europe. Whether he is working with Palestinians or Northern Irish nationalists or Russian mobsters, he finds a way to deliver their worlds and their choices and also to keep us entertained. Based on his earlier, inestimable success, the advertising copy for his newest novel, Single & Single, declares that he “both epitomizes and transcends the novel of espionage”–not a small claim.