It’s the spookiest month of the year, so it’s the perfect time to get some fresh new reading material to keep you warm. October has a mix of big releases by big authors you should pay attention to every time out, National Book Award longlist entries that are worth a glance, and a mix of wild stories that are perfect fall reading.
Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (October 2)
Yes, Marlon James’ third novel swirls around the 1976 assassination attempt on the life of Bob Marley. And, yes, Michiko Kakutani wrote a paroxysm-inducing endorsement that catcalls Tarantino, Oliver Stone, and “ganja.” Ignore this critical weirdness, though, and you’ll find an exuberant, Balzacian novel by self-described “post-post colonialist” writer who is at ease with several canons, traditions, and dialects. You’ll also find a political novel on the level of Don DeLillo. It’s the rare “revelation” that will easily outlive its hype-cycle. — Jonathon Sturgeon