Date Archives April 2008

“Pandora in the Congo” by Albert Sanchez Pinol

I got this as a reviewing freebie from LibraryThing, which was good because with its title and retro cover of cartoonish man emerging from jungle, I would probably never have picked it up in a bookshop. In fact, it turns out to be a postmodern pastiche of African adventure novels, with a strong metafictional element (the narrator has been told… Read More

“Miracles” by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis sets out to prove by logical argument that miracles are possible. The clear-headed writing style helps to draw you in, he anticipates a lot of the criticisms people will have, and I just like the attempt to argue from a position of rigorous logic something which mostly just comes down to “you believe it or you don’t”. The… Read More

Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and freedom of speech

I went to see Salman Rushdie in conversation with Lisa Appignanesi at the Southbank Centre last night. I have never been a particular Rushdie fan, so was pleasantly surprised by his wit, intelligence and affability. He was talking mostly about his new book the Enchantress of Florence, and made me want to read it. I was struck mostly, though, by… Read More

Edward Said – On Late Style

It’s good that Edward Said got far enough with the writing of this book to allow it to be published posthumously. It’s sad, though, that he was not able to finish it himself. The editors spliced together notes, lectures and essays into a book, without having to add any bridging paragraphs or explanations — all the words are Said’s. But… Read More