Other Press, $15.95, 352 pp.
Lawrence Douglas’s new novel The Vices starts off with a crackerjack first paragraph:
On July 18, 200—, at 18:00 GMT, the Queen Mary 2 left Southampton with 2,912 passengers and roughly half as many crew. She arrived at the Brooklyn dockyards on the morning of July 24 with 2,911 passengers. In a brief wire service piece, the New York Times identified the missing passenger...
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Gabriel Brownstein, associate professor of English at St. John’s University, is the author of two works of fiction. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W (W. W. Norton & Co.) won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2002. His novel The Man from Beyond (W. W. Norton & Co.) was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and one of Booklist’s Top 10 Historical Novels in 2005.