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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 Three of his short stories have won prizes, and he has written an as-yet-unpublished novel.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 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.

by Bret Anthony Johnston - Fiction

Since Justin Campbell's disappearance four years ago, his family has been stuck in the grooves of grief. They are unable to comfort themselves, let alone one another. Then the impossible happens: Justin has been found only miles away, completely okay. Though the reunion is a miracle, Justin’s homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family, the wounds they all carry that may never fully heal.

by George Prochnik - Biography, History, Nonfiction

By the 1930s, Stefan Zweig had become the most widely translated living author in the world. Yet, after Hitler’s rise to power, this celebrated writer plummeted into an increasingly isolated exile, where, in 1942, he killed himself. THE IMPOSSIBLE EXILE tells the tragic story of Zweig’s extraordinary rise and fall while also depicting the gulf between the world of ideas in Europe and in America, and the consuming struggle of those forced to forsake one for the other.

by Peter Matthiessen - Fiction

In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred individuals gather at the site of a former concentration camp for a weeklong retreat. They will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, is forced to abandon his observer’s role and embrace a history his family has long suppressed.

by Ward Just - Fiction, Historical Fiction

Harry Sanders is a young foreign service officer in 1960s Indochina when a dangerous and clandestine meeting with insurgents --- and a brief but passionate encounter with Sieglinde, a young German woman --- alters the course of his life. He marries the captivating May, who is fleeing her own family disappointments. On the surface, they are a handsome, successful couple --- but the memory of Sieglinde persists in Harry’s thoughts, and May has her own secrets.

by Kevin Brockmeier - Memoir, Nonfiction

Over the course of one school year --- seventh grade --- 12-year-old Kevin Brockmeier sets out in search of himself. Along the way, he happens into his first kiss at a church party, struggles to understand why his old friends tease him at the lunch table, becomes the talk of the entire school thanks to his Halloween costume, and booby-traps his lunch to deter a thief.

by Tova Mirvis - Fiction

Nina is a harried young mother who spends her evenings spying on the older couple across the street, drawn to their quiet contentment. One night, through that same window, she spies a young couple in the throes of passion. In the coming weeks, Nina encounters the older couple, their daughter and her fiancé, and many others on the streets of her Upper West Side neighborhood, eroding the safe distance of her secret vigils.