Date Archives April 2011

“Saturday” by Ian McEwan

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 successful daughter. A man so ridiculously successful, in fact, that you just know something really bad is going to happen to him. He’s got a big metaphorical “KICK ME” sign taped to his back from… Read More

“Evening is the Whole Day” by Preeta Samarasan

Update: I interviewed Preeta Samarasan about this book and her writing in general – to listen to the interview, click here.   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 illuminates the politics of post-colonial Malaysia and the tensions of race and class,… Read More

“Written on the Body” by Jeanette Winterson

There is a lot of beauty in this book. Every sentence is like a poem. You can feel the care and attention that went into every choice of word. For the first few pages, I was blown away and thought I had discovered a new favourite writer. But towards the end my enthusiasm faded. I felt like a diner who’s gorged on desserts and longs for some plain old bread and water to settle the stomach. I’ve felt this before, where writing is very ornate. Arundhati Roy comes to mind…. Read More

“Remarkable Creatures” by Tracy Chevalier

This is a historical novel about Mary Anning, a young fossil hunter in early 19th century Britain. I quite enjoyed it, but it didn’t do anything special for me. It’s funny – although I studied history at university and have a lot of interest in it, I generally prefer contemporary fiction. I think it’s because I find that historical novels often rely too much on the history, rather than on being a great, well-told story. The author does a lot of research and has to throw it all into the… Read More

Signed copies available, free worldwide delivery

I have just added a “Buy Now” feature to my website – if you click the button on the right-hand side, you can order a copy of On the Holloway Road from me directly and pay through PayPal. For £7.99, I will sign a copy for you (personalised if you let me know the message), and will ship it free of charge to any destination worldwide. If you want to buy an eBook, or prefer to buy from a bookshop, click here for more information on where you can get… Read More