Author: Chase Knudsen

Book Reviews for You: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

“In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war…” writes Mohsin Hamid to hook and catch the reader into a tale that speaks volumes to the modern crises of immigration. Which, if we watch the news and follow President Trump’s twitter, is an issue one cannot shy away from. Nadia and Saeed, the protagonists, are classmates at night business school in a city that is ambiguous to the reader, but it could be assumed it’s somewhere in the Middle East. Hamid paints a surreal picture of the banal platitudes...

Read More

Book Reviews for You: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead, the 2017 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction as well as the National Book Award winner, writes a story that is both mesmerizing and brutally haunting as it revisits the dark part of American history that is slavery. “The Underground Railroad is a reminder of the ways in which the pain of slavery transmits itself across generations, not just in overt ways, but how it changes hearts and minds,” said former President Barak Obama, as reported in The New York Times. The story follows two slaves, Cora and Caesar, in their entrenched effort to find freedom...

Read More

Movie Review with Tie-In Book Review: The Circle

The Circle, unlike the award-winning novel by Dave Eggers, fails to bring a compelling narrative right from the opening scene to the ending credits. Starring Emma Watson, recently known for her role as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Circle plays out in an undramatic, anti-climactic bore fest; which, unfortunately does not bode well for those who read the book after they see the movie. According to a Harris Poll, one of the longest-running surveys in public opinion, taken in 2014, 57% of Americans would rather stay in verses going out to the movie theater, this movie...

Read More

Book Reviews for You: Sorry To Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell

In her dark, comedic novel, Patty Yumi Cottrell writes her debut contemporary noir novel that will stand the test of time. Helen Moran, a 32-year-old adoptive Korean, struggles with alienation. She lives in New York, the city that never sleeps, works as a troubled youth counselor and is on the brink of homelessness when she receives a phone call that changes everything. The first chapter opens with a bleak and troublesome event that takes place. Helen learns that her adoptive brother, has committed suicide without rhyme or reason. After learning of her adoptive brother’s death, Helen begins to have...

Read More

Book Reviews for You: End of the Past by Bonn Turkington

UVU alumnus Bonn Turkington, who graduated in 2009 with a degree in creative writing, wrote a fantasy/fiction novel End of the Past, Book 1. The story takes place in a world that Turkington created. Protagonist Vahn Baxendale is searching for meaning in his life. He is learning to deal with the impact of his mother vanishing without a trace shortly after finding his father dead by suicide. The first chapter begins seven years later. Vahn lives alone and is the introverted type, working at a local book store. He spends most of his paychecks on books; he is an...

Read More