Darren Greer - Still Life with June: Two words describe this book: disappointing and unbelievable. The BIG BAD thing made me grimace, the characters' motivations are largely not believable, some plot threads are abandoned part way through, and the whole book has an air of falseness to it. Greer is not such a bad writer, but this novel just does not work. It's a mystery how it found a publisher. Even more of a mystery is how I managed to fight my way to the end.
Ken Kalfus - A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: This might be the first novel I have read that features 9/11. Kalfus places a married couple going through a protracted and painful divorce in the midst of destruction and national confusion. The result is unexpected, humorous, and deeply troubling. I found the story to be gripping and real. Clearly, Kalfus has confidence in his writing and has created a well-paced book with not a single wasted word.
Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach is a perfectly-written novella. It's supposed to be a novel, but novella is a much better word. In fact, it's more like a long short story. Part of me wished McEwan would have added 50 pages, but then that would take away from the central story, an interesting newlywed encounter gone wrong.