Tag Archives: book review

For your consideration: ‘Kudos’ by Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk’s ‘Outline’ is one of the most quietly experimental novels of recent years.  Through muted, almost alienated prose, it presents the most powerful evocation of depression and isolation I think I have ever read.  Of course, once the character, tone and … Continue reading

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Finding the monster ‘Frankenstein in Baghdad’ by Ahmed Saadawi

Mary’s Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein‘ tells of a monster created by a hubristic scientist out of scavenged, beautiful body parts in a doomed attempt to demonstrate human ingenuity.  The result was an abomination who has nonetheless gone on to capture the hearts … Continue reading

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A dizzying read: High-Rise by J. G. Ballard

I’m finding it’s good to read a J. G. Ballard novel every few years.  More frequently might not be healthy, but thoughtfully dispersed they offer a dazzling view into a disturbingly recognisable world that throws everything else into the shade.  … Continue reading

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It’s all very bleak: ‘Outer Dark’ by Cormac McCarthy

My first experience of reading Cormac McCarthy was with ‘The Road,’ a book I picked up after hearing that the author was a Great American Novelist, not realising that I was letting myself in for several hundred pages of apocalyptic … Continue reading

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Another adulterous woman: ‘Effi Briest’ by Thoedor Fontane

This year I decided to collect the last of the set.  Arguably there are three great nineteenth-century adultery novels of which the French ‘Madame Bovary’ is the oldest and the Russian ‘Anna Karenina’ is the longest.  Fontane’s contribution to the … Continue reading

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Writing the Revolution: ‘March 1917’ by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I was so excited to be given the opportunity of reviewing Marian Schwartz’s English translation of ‘Node 3, book 1’ of Solzhenitsyn’s monumental historical novel cycle ‘The Red Wheel.’  Of course, when I jumped at the chance, I hadn’t quite … Continue reading

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My kind of spy novel: Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

There are so many reasons for me to love ‘Our Man in Havana,’ even if the first sentence is a sad reminder of a reason to hate it.  Graham Greene was a man of his time; to take this further, … Continue reading

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