I read too much and write too little and my head ends up overfull and a little too confused.

Characters march in with their dirty boots and put up a righteous din. “Guillotine, guillotine! Shu shu shu!” They shout, they boast, they mope and argue and cry and proclaim.

There’s word of a policeman, tied to the back of a bear, floating down the Neva. A blind musician tunes his zither and plays to a married man’s seduction of an Egyptian singer. And there’s another man, off to the side, who relives the passionate bullfights of Pamplona, though he is impotent to passion itself.

I invite them willingly, drunkards and English ladies alike, but I must turn this crowded tavern into a salon or I will never hear any of them properly. We’ll see whether Dolokhov comes in from the window and behaves himself.

Reviews here at the Masthead will be more than reviews, and I forewarn that I cannot always avoid spoilers (though I’ll try to hide such nefarious things under the carpeting of “read more.”)

Elizabeth Hustad is a freelance writer for the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Her work has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Downtown/Southwest Journals, MinnPost and local papers under the ECM ownership. She earned her degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Minnesota and founded the Masthead in January 2017 as an online magazine dedicated to books and writing.

July 2017



All book cover photos sourced via wikicommons in accordance with fair use unless otherwise noted.