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Harvey Freedenberg

Biography

Harvey Freedenberg


mwn52@aol.com

Harvey Freedenberg practices intellectual property law and litigation with a large Harrisburg, Pennsylvania firm. He's been working as a freelance reviewer since 2005 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. In addition to the more than 100 reviews he's written for Bookreporter.com, he reviews for BookPage, Shelf Awareness and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He also writes a monthly column featuring reviews and articles on other book-related subjects for Harrisburg Magazine. In 2000, Harvey took a six-month sabbatical from his law practice and studied creative writing at his alma mater, Dickinson College. Three of his short stories have won prizes, and he has written an as-yet-unpublished novel. Harvey enjoys literary fiction and a wide range of nonfiction. His favorite authors are too numerous to mention, but include Richard Ford, Tim O’Brien, John Updike, Charles Baxter, John Cheever, Tracy Kidder and John McPhee. To read all of Harvey's reviews along with his comments on the book world and assorted topics, follow him on Twitter (@HarvF) or friend him on Facebook.

Harvey Freedenberg

Reviews by Harvey Freedenberg

by Brock Clarke - Fiction

Take the format of a spy thriller, shape it around real-life incidents involving international terrorism, leaven it with dark, dry humor, toss in a love rectangle, give everybody a gun, and let everything play out in the outer reaches of upstate New York. There you have an idea of Brock Clarke’s new novel, THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

by Alice Munro - Fiction, Short Stories

FAMILY FURNISHINGS brings us 24 of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. These stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world.

by Howard Jacobson - Fiction

When Ailinn Solomons arrives in his village by a sea that laps no other shore, Kevern Cohen is instantly drawn to her. Although mistrustful by nature, the two become linked as if they were meant for each other. Together, they form a refuge from the commonplace brutality that is the legacy of a historic catastrophe shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, simply referred to as WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED.

by Marilynne Robinson - Fiction

Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church --- the only available shelter from the rain --- and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security. In LILA, Marilynne Robinson revisits the beloved characters and setting of her Pulitzer Prize-winning GILEAD and HOME, a National Book Award finalist.

by Eula Biss - Medicine, Nonfiction, Social Sciences

Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear --- fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child's air, food, mattress, medicine and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world. In ON IMMUNITY, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body.

by Joseph O'Neill - Fiction

Distraught by a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, the hero of Joseph O'Neill's latest novel leaves New York to take an unusual job in a strange desert metropolis. In a Dubai at the height of its self-invention as a futuristic Shangri-La, he struggles with his new position as the "family officer" of the capricious and very rich Batros family. And he struggles, even more helplessly, with the "doghouse," a seemingly inescapable condition of culpability in which he feels himself constantly trapped.

by Lev Grossman - Fantasy, Fiction

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. He uncovers a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory --- but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them, he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

by Francisco Goldman - Memoir, Nonfiction

THE INTERIOR CIRCUIT is Francisco Goldman’s story of his emergence from grief five years after his wife’s death, symbolized by his attempt to overcome his fear of driving in the city. Embracing the DF (Mexico City) as his home, Goldman explores and celebrates the city, which stands defiantly apart from so many of the social ills and violence wracking Mexico.

by Tom Rachman - Fiction

Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers.

by Kevin Birmingham - History, Literature, Nonfiction

For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. THE MOST DANGEROUS BOOK tells the remarkable story surrounding ULYSSES, from the first stirrings of James Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933.