Michael Adelberg

By day, Michael Adelberg is a pale and studious health policy wonk; by evening, he is an even paler and more studious historian of the American Revolution; about midnight, he turns into a fiction writer and book reviewer. Sleep is overrated.

Mike is the author of various publications including a half-dozen academic journal articles, the award-winning Theatre of Spoil and Destruction: American Revolution in Monmouth County (History Press, 2010) and three well reviewed novels: A Thinking Man’s Bully (The Permanent Press, 2011), The Razing of Tinton Falls (History Press, 2012), and Saving the Hooker (The Permanent Press, 2014).

Mike lives in northern Virginia with his very-tolerant wife of twenty years and sons.

Book Reviews by Michael Adelberg

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Rainey Royal is a tough novel with a tender heart—a very good story that flirts with being a great one.

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The Scatter Here Is Too Great is a book about complicated topics presented via complicated narrative. . . .

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Paisley Mischief is too cliche to be a great novel, but it is written with enough wit to make it a fun novel.

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Karate Chop displays an admirable willingness to take on difficult stories, and Dorthe Nors tells these difficult stories very well.”

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“. . . the story of a struggling LGBT youth on a journey toward self-understanding. . . . a well-written and contemporary story.”

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The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, and therefore, not surprisingly, the American bookshelf is filled with books about immigrants.

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“[Ms. Irby is] a fresh voice and talent to be watched.”

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“. . . an interesting and fun little book.”

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“. . . the majority of the stories in Byzantium are extraordinary.”

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“. . . at once interesting and off-putting.”

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“Professor Nutting veers into difficult territory and unearths virgin soil.”

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“. . . The set-up is delicious . . . [but] Manuscript Found in Accra lacks one of the most fundamental elements of the classic novel: a story.”

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“At only 162 fast-moving pages . . . a small investment to gain clear-eyed look at the Jihadi suicide bomber . . .”

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“Mr. Newland successfully engages some of the most difficult questions we will ever face.”

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“. . . an excellent window into a complex and gifted author.”

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“. . . humorous and plot lines are deliciously original.”

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“. . . an introspective and contemporary character study. . . . a well-measured and mature debut.”

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“Astray is a wonderful, wonderfully interesting story collection because, above all else, Ms. Donoghue is a wonderful and wonderfully interesting storyteller.”

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“. . . perceptive storytelling and bracing honesty . . . subtle but meaningful”

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“. . . a powerful and rare achievement . . .”

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“You and Me doubles down on that Seinfeldian quality of being a book about nothing. . . . more anti-novel than novel.”

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“This collection establishes Ms. Sigler as a leading chronicler of America’s smoldering Rust Belt underbelly. It is a pleasure to recommend this book.”

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“Jeff Tapia challenges short story norms and dares the reader to walk away. . . .

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“Ghosting might not please the average American reader. Mr. Gann asks a lot from his readers—so many names to keep straight, so many difficult passages to wade through.

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“John Kinsella is hard on the people of the Wheat Belt, especially the region’s still-dominant old families. Most of his sketches are gloomy in their content and conclusions.

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“For a narrow niche of readers, Boarded Windows could be that once-in-a-generation revelatory depiction of an under-explored subculture—in this case, the Northern Plains slacker-in

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“Mr.

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“All told, The Speed Chronicles deserves great praise for the audacity of the topic, the depth of the discussion, the diversity of its voices, and plain, old, good storytelling.”

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“The best stories in The Cocaine Chronicles—including those of Mr. West, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Revoyr—are equal to the best fiction being written today.”

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The Plot Against Hip Hop is a quick-moving murder mystery that educates its audience on Hip Hop’s pioneer generation along the way.

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“There is much to like about Lizard World, but the book ultimately resembles the spliced creatures that inhabit its narrative: It is an uncomely hybrid less than the sum of its par

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“All through Zippermouth, author Weeks waves her middle finger at literary norms and dares the reader to walk away.”

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“There is no doubt that Greg Hrbek deserves the literary honors cited in the bio on the book’s back cover. Nonetheless, Destroy All Monsters is uneven. At times, Mr.

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“It has huge strengths: a fascinating and original book concept, great wit, and an author writing with a sense of purpose. . . . the originality and audacity of Mr.

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“. . . the strengths of this book are so powerful. . . .

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“. . . it is clearly Ms. Benedict’s intention to turn stereotypes upside down, make readers squirm, and yet still keep them reading. Ms.

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“Mr. Lerner can set aside the self-doubt: Leaving the Atocha Station proves he’s a droll and perceptive observer, and a first-rate novelist.”

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“Christopher Boucher is not for everyone.

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“. . .

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“There is much to like about Tassy Morgan’s Bluff . . .”

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Once upon a time, there was a wild, wild West—a fantastic place full of heroic cowboys, dastardly Indians, damsels in distress, and guns galore.

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Nestled in the hills of northern New Mexico is Agua Bendita—a sleepy village where the laws of physics snooze in the afternoon sun and memories are the only road signs.

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The crazy thing about crazy people is that they do crazy things.

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What is it about New Yorkers that makes them so interesting? (Or what makes New Yorkers believe they are so interesting?)

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A father hits his wife while grieving the loss of his son. Overcome with guilt, he wanders for days in the woods and nearly dies.

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When a reader cracks open a novel, she or he enters into a bargain with the author.

For the reader, the terms of bargain are very simple: read the book with enthusiasm and an open mind.

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Pop Quiz: The title, Isle of Dreams, refers to:

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Stuart, a 20-something dandy, is in love, and he’s about to become a father. The trouble is that his love interest and the mother of his child are two different women.

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Sometime in the early 1800s, somewhere in not-so-merry old England, doddering old Lord Upton lost his mind.

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An arrogant talking head has just humiliated his well-meaning director, Henry, in front of his crew.

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Once there was a little boy named Jem (short for Jeremy). His father was a loving, brilliant, and eccentric scientist. During an experiment, Jem’s dad turned himself into a huge orangutan.

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Shortly before his death, the comedian and social critic, George Carlin, decried the “pussification of the American male.” Carlin was complaining about the rise of materialistic, metro-sexual men i

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In a more innocent time in New York City, before the 9/11 catastrophe, Richard Gallin cavalierly counseled his under-achieving son, “Pretend to be a thing all your life and at the end of your life,

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Every week, tens of thousands of NASCAR fans line sweltering racetracks in hopes of being up close when a spectacular crash occurs.

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Welcome to Elysiana, New Jersey, circa 1969—an island, physically and metaphorically, off the coast of New Jersey.