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Sarah Churchwell is chair of public understanding of the humanities at the University of London, and author of “Behold, America” (Bloomsbury)
City on Fire is not bad, but it also is not great - and it might have been if it had been halved.
The novel's use of found photos is an interesting conceit but, like the legerdemain around the book’s title, emphasising the insubstantiality of the fictions around it.
From To Kill a Mockingbird to Gone With The Wind, literary mythmaking has long veiled the ugly truth of the American South.
This fourth book in the Frank Bascombe series a volume that tempts the word “slight” but may deserve more. Like its narrator, it is easygoing, understated, articulate and occasionally surprising.