Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


In Translation

The Plotters by Un-Su Kim

Un-Su Kim's The Plotters focuses on contract killer Reseng, who grew up in the Doghouse, a library run by Old Raccoon, who functions more or less as a booking agent for contract killers. It Kim's South Korea, contract killers seem to be... Continue Reading →

The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya

The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories is a collection of eleven short stories by Yukiko Motoya that center around the idea of identity, of being oneself and how hard selfhood can be to define and maintain, particularly in relationships with others. The title... Continue Reading →

Baghdad Noir by Samuel Shimon

Baghdad Noir is the most recent release in the phenomenal Akashic Noir Series of short story anthologies with a noir sensibility. The genius feature is that each edition is edited and written by locals, people intimately knowledgeable of the people and the place that is... Continue Reading →

The Lion’s Binding Oath by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf

Ahmed Ismail Yusuf had no idea he would be a writer when he came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia. He had not finished high school and had not even read an entire book, but his cousin... Continue Reading →

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman is narrated by Keiko Furukura, who at thirty-six is a bit old to still be working a part-time job at a convenience store, yet she can't imagine anything else. Keiko has never fit in, not since childhood. The... Continue Reading →

The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio

The Cold Summer is a police procedural that takes place in Italy during the time when the mafia waged open war on the police and the courts, including bombing two judges. Author Gianrico Carofiglio writes from personal experience. He was an... Continue Reading →

In the Distance With You by Carla Guelfenbein

The central character of Carla Guelfenbein's In the Distance with You is in a coma from the first page of the book and yet, she is the sun the other characters orbit. Her name is Vera Sigall, a famed Chilean literary icon... Continue Reading →

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is the first in a series of light mysteries by Mario Giordano featuring the sixty-year-old Isolde Oberreiter (Auntie Poldi) from a Sicilian expatriate family in Germany. A glamorous widow, she's decided it's time to die... Continue Reading →

Woman at 1000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason

Herra is eighty years old, riddled with cancer, and ready to die. So ready she calls up the crematorium and makes an appointment, but first, she will take some time to review her life–an alarmingly eventful and unlikely life. If... Continue Reading →

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

As a freshman in college, I boldly took the senior seminar on Miguel de Unamuno, reading San Manuel Bueno, Martír and Del sentimiento tragíco de la vida as well as his other works. It was one of my favorite classes... Continue Reading →

Montreal Noir ed. by Jacques Filippi and John McFetridge

Montreal Noir is a collection of fifteen short stories centered on or around Montreal. Montreal is the center for Francophone Canada and this collection reflects that with a mix of stories written in English and French, It is one of the... Continue Reading →

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende's newest novel In the Midst of Winter creates some bizarre juxtapositions that in less skilled hands would be appalling, yet from those juxtapositions, she fashions a moving winter romance. It begins when Richard Bowmaster, a University human rights professor, has a... Continue Reading →

Murderous Mistral by Cay Rademacher

Murderous Mistral is the first in a new series by Cay Rademacher who also writes the Inspector Frank Stave series about a German police officer in American-occupied German after World War II. This new series features Captain Roger Blanc, an intuitive... Continue Reading →

Odd Numbers by Anne Holt

Odd Numbers is the ninth in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series and takes place more than eleven  years after she has left the force. There was this uncanny discomfort reading this book while the news is filled with the news of bombing in Manchester because... Continue Reading →

All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan

All the Rivers is above all else a romance. Dorit Rabinyan's novel is about the romance between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Muslim who meet when they are both in New York–safely free of family ties and social pressure. They... Continue Reading →

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