Alan Cheuse http://wmot.org en 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome http://wmot.org/post/book-review-warburg-rome James Carroll, who served as a Catholic priest before his literary ambitions led him to go secular, has gathered together his knowledge of church history and his mature powers as a novelist to create <em>Warburg in Rome</em>, his most splendid work of fiction to date.<p>Though the novel never really settles squarely as either historical fiction or historical thriller, it offers the best of both worlds. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 40406 at http://wmot.org 'Warburg' Struggles For Love And Justice In Wartime Rome McMurtry Takes Aim At A Legend In 'Last Kind Words Saloon' http://wmot.org/post/mcmurtry-takes-aim-legend-last-kind-words-saloon In a prefatory note to <em>The Last Kind Words Saloon</em>, his first novel in five years, Western writer supreme Larry McMurtry states that he wants to create a "ballad in prose." And he borrows a line from great moviemaker John Ford: "When legend becomes fact, print the legend."<p>Set in the autumn of the 19th century, mainly in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, McMurtry's slender book contains a multitude of familiar and unfamiliar Western characters, including some who do belong to legend as well as history: part-time lawman Wyatt Earp and gun-toting dentist Doc Holliday, back together again. Tue, 27 May 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 39105 at http://wmot.org 'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp http://wmot.org/post/frog-music-sounds-barbaric-invigorating-yawp San Francisco in the summer of the 1876, between the Gold Rush and the smallpox epidemic, is the setting for Emma Donoghue's boisterous new novel, <em>Frog Music.</em><p>There's real frog music in these pages, the riveting cries of the creatures hunted by Jenny Bonnet, one of the two main characters. She's a pistol-packing, pants-wearing gal in a town where pants on women are one of the few cardinal sins, and she scratches out a living catching frogs and selling them to local restaurants.<p>As the book opens, Jenny comes rolling along a busy San Francisco street on a stolen bicycle. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:36:27 +0000 Alan Cheuse 36688 at http://wmot.org 'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp American Jazzmen Swing Overseas In 'Shanghai' http://wmot.org/post/american-jazzmen-swing-overseas-shanghai The thing about historical novels is that above all else, they must stand as good fiction. If not, the reader's supposed trip back into the past isn't worth the time or the token. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:28:09 +0000 Alan Cheuse 35858 at http://wmot.org American Jazzmen Swing Overseas In 'Shanghai' Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived http://wmot.org/post/written-secret-behind-iron-curtain-corpse-revived Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:27:00 +0000 Alan Cheuse 32853 at http://wmot.org