October 8, 2013

A Review of Ellen Ullman’s By Blood (Picador, 2012)

Just when you thought you couldn’t read another novel about the Holocaust, Ellen Ullman comes along with one that doesn’t feel like one for the first hundred pages, by which time you’ve been sucked into her story of a disgraced, male university professor eavesdropping on a female psychologist’s sessions with a young female patient, only to discover that this uniquely-structured story is in part an eye-opening look at lasting horror of Nazism on European Jewry. Readers are likely to be put off by Ullman’s professor­­––not only due to the extent to which he is driven by personal demons––a psychosis some readers will have trouble identifying with, but also because his violation of the privacy of a patient-psychologist relationship. The professor’s […]
September 28, 2013

Expendable Man Earns Another 5-Star Review

Thank you for Joymarie for this review. If you haven’t read The Expendable Man, she explains why it’s a must read: “Peter Pollak has created a truly remarkable plot in that it is not only in the realm of possibility, but it is something that could happen to any one of us reading the book. A thriller that is written smoothly in that it carries you along like a raft on a rain swollen stream and before you know it, you literally bump into the shore. “A magnificent ride, by a highly skilled man of imagination who manages to weave together suspense and terror along with political ambition and the power of those ‘in power’. Scary when you think that […]
September 15, 2013

Review of Dream by Robbi Sommers Bryant

I was asked to provide an impartial review of Dream, a novella, by Robbi Sommers Bryant for Indiependents.org. Robbi Sommers Bryant’s novella Dream is a satisfying adult fairytale, which works as long as the reader doesn’t probe too deeply into the logic of the story. The story begins with Veronica, a woman who has affairs to fill a void she feels in her life, meeting up with Andrew, who she sees as another male who can quiet her craving. Up to that point, the reader might think Dream is a Shades of Gray take-off, but the story takes an original turn when we learn that Andrew’s goal, in addition to the sex of course, is to share the dream-world he’s […]
August 19, 2013

Last Stop Receives 5-Star Review

Terri Lynn Merritts gave Last Stop on Desolation Ridge a 5-star rating on Goodreads.  Here’s her review: “This is another excellent action/thriller book by Peter Pollak. The author gave me this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I loved it! “Logan Gifford has caught on to the shady dealers of the people he works with at Tekram Corporation and they shove him into a shady private mental institution where he is kept in solitary confinement, kept literally in the dark, and left malnourished. They finally decide to kill him by taking him out to Desolation Ridge and shoving him off a cliff thinking he will be injured and die alone where no one goes, especially with his […]
August 10, 2013

Toward Civic Integrity, A Book Review

This column was first published September 30, 2010 on  the Empire Page website. After more than six years of haggling, the final hurdles were recently overcome for the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter within the city limits of Gloversville in Fulton County in upstate New York. While Gloversville City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis, author of “Towards Civic Integrity; Re-establishing the Micropolis,” (2007) understands the motives of the public officials who pushed the project through, he believes that this is exactly the wrong kind of development that’s needed for cities like Gloversville to function successfully in the 21st century. In his self-published extended essay, Judge DeSantis chronicles oft-repeated accusations against Wal-Mart centered communities. In addition to the charge that they drive […]
August 10, 2013

It happened in Gloversville; a review of Richard Russo’s Elsewhere

Disclosure: I grew up in the city of Gloversville in upstate New York where Richard Russo–-six years my junior–-was born and raised and which plays a major role in this family memoir. A number of my Gloversville friends who read Elsewhere expressed disappointment and even anger over Richard Russo’s treatment of the city of their youth in his family memoir. Reflecting on the Prologue, which is a shorter version of a piece published by Granta, the British literary magazine in 2010, they feel Russo focused on the negative side of the glove industry and ignored the benefits which accrued to the community, such as inexpensive housing, better than decent schools, public parks and recreation, a high number of doctors per […]