Posts tagged review

The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov

How do you tell the story of a remote injustice to a jaded world? You could make a documentary, or interview the survivors and write a 15,000-word magazine exposé. You could petition the authorities to commission an official enquiry, and wait a decade or two for the results. Hamid Ismailov chose to write a lyrical literary fairytale about a boy… Read More

The Rag

I like literary magazines. I read a lot of them, although I don’t review them on here too often. I just read a new one called The Rag (well it’s new to me, but this is Issue 5 so I assume it’s been around for at least a year or two). I like reading literary magazines because of the variety… Read More

First unsolicited review

With the official launch of A Virtual Love still a couple of weeks away, it was nice to go on Amazon the other day and see the first ‘surprise’ review, by which I mean one written by someone who just bought the book and decided to write about it, rather than being sent a review copy. The ebook was released… Read More

The Sense of an Ending, explained

First, some background: last year I wrote a review of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I had a lot of comments from people who didn’t understand the ending, and since then I’ve been inundated with people searching for things like “Sense of an Ending explained”. I felt bad, because my original review didn’t really answer that question…. Read More

German Literature Month readalong, Effi Briest – part 3

So it’s week 3 of German Literature Month, organised by Lizzie and Caroline. We’re reading Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane. Why do you think Effi kept Crampas’s letters? I found it a little implausible at the time, because it was such a huge risk for her to take, and she must have known what the consequences would be if Innstetten… Read More

“Social Ecology and Communalism” by Murray Bookchin

This book is a good, short introduction to the ideas of Murray Bookchin. He draws on anarchist and socialist thought to come up with a model of social organisation that will be more fair not only to humans but also to the planet. Bookchin’s thesis is that capitalism has reached crisis point, both socially and ecologically, and new modes of… Read More

New review for On the Holloway Road

On the Holloway Road picked up a good review from Emma over at Book Around the Corner yesterday. I don’t normally tell you about every review, but I wanted to highlight this one particularly because of a beautiful description of my main characters, Jack and Neil. Emma compares them to Sal and Dean in Kerouac’s On the Road, who she… Read More

“Book of Clouds” by Chloe Aridjis

A very quiet, meditative book about a Mexican woman adrift in Berlin. Tatiana is alienated from her family and her friends, cut off from the rest of the city, uninterested in forming a relationship with anyone. She gets a part-time job doing transcription work for a historian, goes on a few lacklustre dates with a fairly nondescript meteorologist, becomes slightly… Read More

“Long Time, No See” by Dermot Healy

Have you ever read a book all the way through and felt that you missed something really big? You get that unsettling feeling that perhaps the whole thing is one big allegory that you failed to get. Or maybe you were daydreaming through the crucial paragraph that knits the whole book together. That’s the feeling I had after reading Long… Read More