Ah, things are really rolling now. After the mysterious appearance of a listing for my next novel on Amazon recently, now a blurb has appeared in my email inbox. It’s quite strange and in some ways depressing to see several years of work reduced to a blurb, but I think they did a good job [...]
Tag Archives | fiction
British crime writer Tom Quigley tagged me a while back in the Lucky Seven challenge, which involves publishing an extract from a current work in progress. Travelling delayed my response, but here it is. The rules were to go to page 7, line 7 of my work-in-progress novel, and post the following 7 lines of [...]
Writing fiction is not really about making stuff up. It’s more about making sense of what you already have stored somewhere in your memory or subconscious, dusting it off, ordering it and making it intelligible to the rest of the world. The hope is that the things you write about will also resonate with other [...]
The narrator of this book is an idiot. His boss despises him, others laugh at him. He drinks beer all day, and works in a cellar compacting wastepaper. He has been compacting wastepaper in the same cellar with the same hydraulic press for 35 years, and has picked out classics of world literature from the [...]
Not my favourite McEwan – that is Atonement by a long way. This was OK, a more meditative book, full of long meandering passages from the head of Henry Perowne, a successful neurosurgeon living in Marylebone with his successful wife and talented blues-musician son, awaiting the return from France of his beautiful and talented and [...]
This book grew on me. At first I found the amount of detail overwhelming, and thought the pace was too slow. Gradually, though, I got used to the style. By the end, I thought it was one of the best books I’ve read in quite a long time. It’s an interesting book in that it [...]
Not sure what to write about this. I enjoyed the story and it was well-written, but to me nothing special. Hated the ending – don’t worry, I won’t give it away, but the last line just sounded so corny I was quite shocked. The book as a whole is not simplistic, but the ending made [...]
I quite liked this book. I think that, perhaps, if I had come upon it by chance in a neglected corner of a bookshop and read it without any preconceptions, I would have really liked it. But I did have preconceptions. A couple of years ago this was a hot book, recommended in all the [...]
I’ve always been interested in stories with non-human characters. I have an idea to write a story one day about a city – not the people in it, but the city itself, as a living character with its own actions and motivations. Trouble is, I’m not really sure where to start. So I was intrigued [...]
In the final part of this series of posts, I’m reviewing stories by Mavis Gallant, V.S. Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Hal Porter and Chinua Achebe. Mavis Gallant (Canada) – Orphans’ Progress According to the introduction, Gallant’s work mostly deals with broken families, and this is no exception: two girls are taken into care because their [...]
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