Author Archives: shoshibookblog

Before ‘Wolf Hall’ there was: ‘The Man on a Donkey’ by H F M Prescott

I’m a sucker for a good long book when it comes to providing proper escapism.  If the action in the story all takes place in a fashionable historical period, things are even more promising.  ‘The Man on a Donkey’ is … Continue reading

Posted in H F M Prescott, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

A Random Russian Discovery: ‘A Russian Gentleman’ by Sergei Aksakov

A joy of working for a London university is that I have access to the wonderful Senate House Library.  This library is not only massive, but it arranges its literature geographically and has a delightful nook which houses the Russian literature. … Continue reading

Posted in Russian Reading, Sergei Aksakov | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Question of Style: Writing in the present tense

Phew, it’s been a busy few weeks trying to cram in all my reviews of first the Bailey’s Prize and then the Man Booker International Prize shortlists.  I’ve still got a pile of books from spring waiting to be written … Continue reading

Posted in Erin Morgenstern, How to pick which book to read | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Frightening and Powerful: ‘Fever Dream’ by Samanta Schweblin

If it wasn’t for the fact that I want this review to sit alongside its fellows on the Man Booker International shortlist, I would be holding off until Halloween.  From witchcraft to pollution, from deserted hospitals to unexpected personality shifts … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2017, Reading in translation, Samanta Schweblin | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Never knowing what’s coming next: ‘A Horse Walks into a Bar’ by David Grossman

Grossman’s novel begins enthusiastically and with cringing embarrassment.  ”Good evening!  Good evening!  Good evening to the majestic city of Caesariyaaaaaah!’ … A short, slight, bespectacled man lurches onto the stage from a side door, as if he’d been kicked through … Continue reading

Posted in David Grossman, Man Booker International Prize 2017, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

One way of viewing the world: ‘Compass’ by Mathias Enard

I wonder if in future years, ‘Compass’ will appeal to those in search of obscure book challenges.  The novel is set over one insomniac night; instead of chapters, we are given timings, starting (after a prelude) at 11.10pm and tracking … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2017, Mathias Enard, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Revisiting Norway: ‘The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen

In January of this year, I had a wonderful time immersing myself in Nordic literature.  I was entranced by the isolation, the human endurance and the untameable environment.  Roy Jacobsen’s ‘The Unseen’ felt like a glorious return to so much … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2017, Nordic literature, Roy Jacobsen | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments