Posted August 12, 2018 1:36 a.m. EDT
A selection of summaries from The New York Times Book Review:
DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean. (Penguin, $18.) MacLean sketches out the six-decade push to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority. The architect of this plan was James McGill Buchanan, a political economist who, starting in the mid-1900s, devoted his career to paving the way for a right-wing social movement.
BLACK MAD WHEEL, by Josh Malerman. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $15.99.) A rock ‘n’ roll band, the Danes, is approached by a top military official to help identify a mysterious, but potent, noise: The sound seems able to neutralize any kind of weapon, and even make people disappear. As the story goes to the African desert and beyond, the novel “takes flight in some head-splitting metaphysical directions,” Terrence Rafferty wrote in The New York Times Book Review.
THE WORLD BROKE IN TWO: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature, by Bill Goldstein. (Picador, $18.) The year 1922 was pivotal for these modernists. Goldstein makes good use of their correspondence and published material to outline each writer’s development and creative blocks, and how their work fit into a broader postwar movement.
MOVING KINGS, by Joshua Cohen. (Random House, $17.) David King is a heavyweight in the moving industry in New York, the patriotic, Republican and wealthy owner of a well-known storage company. In a moment of nostalgia, he invites his distant cousin Yoav, fresh from service in Israel’s military, to work for him, carrying out the business’s ugly side — evicting delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. The novel and its tensions promise some thematic heft, touching on race, occupation, gentrification and who deserves the right to a home.
THE LONG HAUL: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, by Finn Murphy. (Norton, $16.95.) Murphy has logged hundreds of thousands of miles and decades on the road, but may be an unlikely representative: He falls asleep reading Jane Austen in motels and nurtures a crush on Terry Gross, “probably because I’ve spent more time with her than anyone else in my life.”
SUNBURN, by Laura Lippman. (Morrow/HarperCollins, $16.99.) In a sleepy Delaware town, two newcomers — a waitress running from her past and a short-order cook — fall in love, though the two are not what they claim to be. Set in 1995, this novel has an undertow of 1940s noir, but with more heart than you might expect. As Times reviewer, Harriet Lane, wrote: “You see the huge red sun sinking into the cornfields; you feel the dew underfoot.”