#31 After Disasters by Viet Dinh

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in #100reviews, book review, novel review | No Comments

Apart from having one of the best covers I have seen in recent years, Viet Dinh’s debut novel was a thoroughly enjoyable read, to me, for three reasons: It explores gay male life without explanations, without apology and without titillation The topic – aid workers and disaster recovery – is one that I know a […]

#30 About My Mother by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in #100reviews, book review, novel review | No Comments

      First and foremost, I am ashamed … only my thirtieth review and I claimed I wasn’t going to take forever about these 100 reviews! However … I have been revising a complex novel which my agent is about to start sending out, and I have also written four short stories that I […]

#29 The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in book review, novel review | One Comment

  This eerie combination of inverted folk tale and psychological thriller is a difficult book to categories but for that very reason, exactly the kind of book that compels the reader to continue. Briefly put, a disfigured recluse spends his days cataloguing books on his remote estate, whilst his sister runs some kind of family […]

#28 Harraga by Boualem Sansal

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in book review, novel review | No Comments

Any reviewer takes on a task that they must first define for themselves – known (I think) as a harsh critic I’m also an avid reader. I like ‘failed’ novels as much as ‘successful’ ones and often define the two very differently to the mainstream. So in approaching Harraga by Boualem Sansal I will begin […]

SODA …

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in book review, novel review | No Comments

A wise man once taught me that Structure, Order, Discipline and Accountability  (SODA) would help me in every area of life. He was right. I am a terminal procrastinator (although the past 3 months have been given over to a substantial reworking of a novel in line with my agent’s comments so I’m terminal, not […]

#27 Confessions of a Gentleman Arachnid

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in book review, novel review | No Comments

Michael’s Coolwood’s PR person got in touch with me to ask if I’d like to review his book. I said (to myself) I really wouldn’t. Then I went and took a little look at Mr Coolwood on YouTube and changed my mind. I’m still not quite sure why, except he seems like a nice chap […]

#26 Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in book review, novel review, Uncategorised | No Comments

  In Kittur, a fictional small town very much like many South Indian coastal towns, the usual hive of Indian life takes place. Aravind Adiga takes the reader on a dual tour – of the town itself in sententious guidebook excerpts which are supposed to introduce us to the highlights of the place but actually […]

#25 Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Posted by on Jan 16, 2016 in #100reviews, book review, novel review | No Comments

  I have always understood Pynchon to be inaccessible, so in choosing Inherent Vice as my first Pynchon I was deliberately opting for the most accessible of his novels. Perhaps it’s not at all representative – Gravity’s Rainbow is described as ‘sweeping’, ‘complex’, and even ‘mysterious’ – but Inherent Vice is more of a romp […]

#24 The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates

Posted by on Jan 2, 2016 in book review, novel review | No Comments

One of the most powerful books I ever read was Blonde – a searing account of the imagined interior life of Marilyn Monroe. Whilst Oates insists that this work, like The Sacrifice, must be seen as a product of the imagination, not an account of history, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that in both cases. […]

#23 Sunset Park by Paul Auster

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in book review, novel review | No Comments
#23 Sunset Park by Paul Auster

I seem to be on a run of male authors at the moment, which is entirely coincidental, I think. Paul Auster is new to me, and I was interested in reading about his literary work to learn that he uses certain literary devices – one of which is a twinning or mirroring of circumstance. I […]