Author Archives: shoshibookblog

A Classic Class War Novel: ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ by Robert Tressell

‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ was first published in 1914 and is written in the spirit of the age, depicting suffering and injustice and foretelling great conflict in the near future.  Tressell is not interested in the World War he did … Continue reading

Posted in Robert Tressell | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Secrets and surprises: ‘The Key’ by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

From Adrian Mole to Zamyatin’s ‘We’, from ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Bridget Jones, very few things beat a good diary entry novel.  And if a single diary wasn’t powerful enough, the run-away success of Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ shows how much … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese Literature, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Mourning the end of August: ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ (part 2 – summer) by Anthony Powell

The first volume of Powell’s ‘A Dance to the Music of Time‘ brought much joy to my spring reading.  I love long books that give the luxury of total immersion in a luxurious setting and the aristocratic, privileged world of … Continue reading

Posted in Anthony Powell | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

An Italian Classic ‘The Betrothed’ by Alessandro Manzoni

‘The Betrothed’ starts with a cowardly cleric being threaten with unnamed reprisals if he performs a marriage ceremony for a peasant couple against the wishes of the evil Don Rodrigo.  The fearful priest resolves to obey these commands, cursing his misfortune … Continue reading

Posted in Alessandro Manzoni, Italian Literature | 7 Comments

The Man Booker Prize and Graveyards: ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders

Reading ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ really made me wish for a new book list, a specialised list, made up of English language novels premised on Buddhist philosophy.  It’s is going to have to be provided by someone else though.  I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in George Saunders, Man Booker Prize 2017 | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Getting started with the 2017 Man Booker Prize: The ironically titled ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ by Arundhati Roy

Having spoken to people about Roy’s new novel, I think I may have been the only reader to have utterly misunderstood the title.  In blissful ignorance I began reading, looking forward to a much needed cheerful novel.  There was nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Arundhati Roy, Man Booker Prize 2017 | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Human identity: ‘Transit’ by Rachel Cusk

A couple of years ago, I read Rachel Cusk’s ‘Outline,’ a book that is so delicately evocative of a fractured self it was almost impossible to review (though I tried, and you can see the result at Shiny New Books). … Continue reading

Posted in Rachel Cusk, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments