My review of Rachel Cusk's The Bradshaw Variations has gone up over at the Barnes & Noble review. It begins thus:
Only a very brave writer, or a very foolish one, would begin a novel with the words "What is art?" The British novelist Rachel Cusk is no fool, and indeed there is both courage and ambition on display throughout The Bradshaw Variations, her seventh novel, which is indebted to and in conversation with Tolstoy's novella The Kreutzer Sonata, as well as his less well known 1896 nonfiction work, What is Art? As Zadie Smith demonstrated with On Beauty, which owed similar debts to Howards End, when a talented novelist seeks to reconceive yesterday's masterpieces through a contemporary prism, there is potentially much to be gained.
For my final verdict, you'll need to read the review in its entirety here.