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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 Three of his short stories have won prizes, and he has written an as-yet-unpublished novel.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 Chris Matthews - Biography, History, Nonfiction, Politics

Overlooked by his father and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life-changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians --- both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Chris Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy.

by Roddy Doyle - Fiction

While at Donnelly’s for his usual pint, Victor Forde is approached by a man in shorts and a pink shirt. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from secondary school. His name is Fitzpatrick. Victor dislikes him on sight, and also dislikes the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories --- of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that Victor cannot control and that eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

by Nathan Englander - Fiction, Political Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel's most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner's existence. From these vastly different lives, Nathan Englander has woven a powerful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined.

by Adam Gopnik - Memoir, Nonfiction

When Adam Gopnik and his soon-to-be-wife, Martha, left the comforts of home in Montreal for New York, the city then, much like today, was a pilgrimage site for the young, the arty and the ambitious. But it was also becoming a city of greed, where both life's consolations and its necessities were increasingly going to the highest bidder. AT THE STRANGERS’ GATE builds a portrait of this particular moment in New York through the story of this couple's journey --- from their excited arrival as aspiring artists to their eventual growth into a New York family.

by Gabriel Tallent - Fiction

At 14, Turtle Alveston roams the woods along the northern California coast. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother. Her social existence is confined to her middle school and her life with her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her.

by Jonathan Dee - Fiction

Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife and their young daughter? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter. Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11, he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round “secure location” from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people’s money. The collision of these two men’s very different worlds --- rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy --- is the engine of Jonathan Dee’s new novel.

by Alissa Nutting - Fiction

Hazel has moved into a trailer park of senior citizens after running out on her marriage to Byron Gogol. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. As she tries to carve out a new life for herself, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all.

by Andrew Sean Greer - Comedy, Fiction, Romance

You are a failed novelist about to turn 50. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes --- it would be too awkward. And you can't say no --- it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. How do you arrange to skip town? You accept them all. Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face.

by Steven Levingston - History, Nonfiction, Politics

KENNEDY AND KING traces the emergence of two of the 20th century's greatest leaders, their powerful impact on each other and on the shape of the civil rights battle between 1960 and 1963. These two men from starkly different worlds profoundly influenced each other's personal development. Kennedy's hesitation on civil rights spurred King to greater acts of courage, and King inspired Kennedy to finally make a moral commitment to equality.

by Siobhan Fallon - Fiction

Both Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw dutifully followed their soldier husbands to the U.S. embassy in Jordan, but that’s about all the women have in common. After two years, Cassie has become an expert on the rules, but newly arrived Margaret sees only her chance to explore. So when a fender-bender sends Margaret to the local police station, Cassie reluctantly agrees to watch Margaret’s toddler son. But as the hours pass, Cassie’s boredom and frustration turn to fear: Why isn’t Margaret answering her phone, and why is it taking so long to sort out a routine accident? Snooping around Margaret’s apartment, Cassie begins to question not only her friend’s whereabouts but also her own role in Margaret’s disappearance.