Tag Archives: book review

Addictively Silly: The Mysteries of Paris by Eugène Sue (1842-43)

The Mysteries of Paris begins in the dank alleyways of the Parisian underworld.  A mysterious stranger ‘darted with hasty step into the Cité, that labyrinth of obscure, narrow, and winding streets which extends from the Palais de Justice to Notre … Continue reading

Posted in Eugène Sue, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Isolated and Hidden Away: ‘The Drinker’ by Hans Fallada

A couple of years ago I read the wonderful ‘Blood Brothers‘ by Ernst Haffner, a book which explores the desperate underbelly of interwar Germany.  ‘Blood Brothers’ shows the reader life at the bottom of a society on the edge of … Continue reading

Posted in Hans Fallada, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Not as bleak as you might expect: ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ (part 3 – autumn) by Anthony Powell

I had been a bit concerned about embarking on the autumn phase of Powell’s ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’.  The fact is, volume 6 ‘The Kindly Ones,’ which was the last of the summer books, was not my … Continue reading

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Developing a relationship: ‘Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay’

In general, when I find an author or series that I like, I race through it uncontrollably.  It’s this kind of attitude that has lead to my uneviable position of never being able to read a new Christie Poirot or … Continue reading

Posted in Elena Ferrante, Italian Literature, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Oh, the misery and isolation … ‘Couples’ by John Updike

John Updike is one of those Great American Novelists who have always left me cold. I was turned off by his modern classic ‘Rabbit Run’ and was delighted when, after reading it, I learned that Updike is now considered a … Continue reading

Posted in John Updike, Reading America | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Power and Paranoia: ‘His Master’s Voice’ by Stanisław Lem

One of the things I love about great science fiction is the way its never actually about the future, or the machines or the other worlds it depicts so much as it is about the precise historical moment of its … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Stanisław Lem | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A classic horror for Halloween: ‘The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’ by James Hogg (1824)

I read this book on my Kindle and I think the only print edition I’ve ever seen is the no doubt excellent but very drab looking Penguin Classic paperback.  Overall, I was completely unprepared for the gothic splendour and psychological … Continue reading

Posted in Gothic Literature, James Hogg | Tagged , , | 2 Comments