Excerpt: "The setting for Irini Spanidou’s third novel, Before, seems promising enough: New York City in the 1970s, SoHo before gentrification, a place on the cusp of change but still, as Spanidou writes in her book’s opening, “dangerous,” beset by crime and sparsely populated by bohemians who party deep into the city’s empty nights. Unfortunately, the novel’s setting, as well as its characters, seem nearly as empty as the streets about which Spanidou writes; as a reader, I must wonder why I am to care about the characters Spanidou creates, or how I am to imagine a setting drawn so faintly."
Mock, Melanie Springer, "Book Review: Before" (2008). Faculty Publications - Department of English. 110.