Posts tagged novel

The Good Life Elsewhere: A Dark Moldovan Comedy of Migration

To describe The Good Life Elsewhere by Moldovan writer Vladimir Lorchenkov as a comedy is slightly misleading. It’s certainly shot through with black humour and absurd situations as some Moldovan villagers go to ever more desperate lengths to escape their poverty and move to Italy. And yet, because of their poverty and their desperation, and because you know that, despite its absurdist exaggeration,… Read More

Review of The Pimlico Kid by Barry Walsh

Writing about Indian Magic recently reminded me of another book set in the 1960s, one I read a while ago and wanted to write about, but never got around to. That book is The Pimlico Kid by Barry Walsh, a beautifully written tale about a dramatic childhood summer in 1960s London. Billy Driscoll starts the summer as a boy, peeping… Read More

As if by magic…

A sharp-eyed Amazon-watcher just emailed to let me know that my next book, A Virtual Love, has been listed and is available for pre-order. Now don’t worry, this isn’t a sales pitch – I wouldn’t ask you to go and order a book about which there’s no information, not even a cover photo. I just mention it because it’s interesting… Read More

“Tomorrow Pamplona” by Jan van Mersbergen

A road trip taken by two men across Europe to the bull-running at Pamplona. The set-up appealed to me: it’s quite similar to my own novel, with two men on a road trip, exploring the strange relationship between them and the mutual search for something more than what they have. The characters are quite different from mine, though. They start… Read More

Books arrived!

When I first decided to quit my sensible career job and focus on writing, I suppose this is the day I had in mind. At the end of all the early mornings and late nights and rejection letters and self-doubt and setbacks and new starts and hating the chapters I loved yesterday and editing and wondering and dreaming and starting… Read More

“The Steep Approach to Garbadale” by Iain Banks

I particularly liked that although most of the story is told from Alban’s point of view, he is described at first from the outside, first from his cousin Fielding’s perspective, then from that of Tango, the man he is staying with in Perth. It immediately creates the sense of Alban as a slightly mysterious, unknowable character, and this feeling persists through the rest of the book, even as we are told much more about him and given access to his thoughts. It’s a clever device, and the book is full of similar effects. If the clues to the ending had been a little less heavy-handed, this would have been an excellent book.

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Franco Moretti on the Novel

Read a very interesting piece by Franco Moretti in New Left Review, July/August 2008. It seems like a synopsis of a much longer, multi-volume work on the theory of the novel, which I plan to read when I have time. Moretti talks about the theory of the novel by asking three surprising questions: Why are novels in prose? Why are… Read More

“Afterwards” by Rachel Seiffert

The style of writing is very conversational. No beauty, not even many full sentences. The sort of writing with not many verbs. Just reportage,and not always very grammatical, like you were hearing someone tell you it on the phone. That part didn’t work for me, but the advantage of it was that it focused my attention entirely on the characters,… Read More