It was just a matter of time, but couldn’t it have been a little more time? That’s how this New York-based reviewer feels reading two novels that use the World Trade Center tragedy as pivotal plot points. It’s not only awful to relive the nightmare, but it distracts from the fact that these books largely succeed on their own terms. In Joyce Maynard’s The Usual Rules (St. Martin’s, $24.95), 13-year-old Wendy reels in the wake of her mother’s death in the Towers, as she attempts to navigate between her father and stepfather and redefine the meaning of family. The coming-of-age story nails the nature of grief and adolescence and doesn’t dwell on the attacks. The 9/11 plot device in Lawrence Block’s Small Town (Morrow, $24.95) is more off-putting. This could have been a fun airplane read about a serial killer slaughtering his way through New York. But here’s the really chilling part: He’s turned to murdering after losing four family members to 9/11. It feels like a cheap shot to use that event, which ruined so many actual lives, as creepy character motivation in a book meant to be escapist. Rules: B+ Town: C+
Small Town It was just a matter of time, but couldn't it have been a little more time? That's how this New York-based reviewer feels reading two novels that use...Small TownFictionLawrence Block It was just a matter of time, but couldn't it have been a little more time? That's how this New York-based reviewer feels reading two novels that use...2003-02-28
Genre: Fiction; Author: Lawrence Block
Posted February 28 2003 — 12:00 AM EST
- NBC pulls plug on 'Coach' revival
- 'AHS: Hotel': Ryan Murphy shares three super creepy teasers
- Casting Net: Missi Pyle, Joey Lawrence hit horse rescue drama 'Emma's Chance'
- Rick Ross announces new album will be released this week
- Kesha to guest-star on 'Jane the Virgin'
- 'Dancing With the Stars': Peta Murgatroyd to skip season due to injury
- Jack Black wants to tell you a story in the new 'Goosebumps' trailer
- VMAs 2015 Red Carpet: See All the Looks!
- 16 TV characters who stuck around longer than expected
- Behind Lady Gaga's killer look in 'American Horror Story: Hotel'
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- 17 photos of people you forgot hung out at the VMAs
- Reese Witherspoon, Aziz Ansari, Brooks & Julianne and More!