Author Archives: drewsmith28

About drewsmith28

Words, words, words...

The Office of Gardens and Ponds by Didier Decoin (Maclehose Press)

“Following a long confinement and strict observance of the eating restrictions associated with bereavement….” A STRANGE lash up of old Japanese folklore with Gallic machismo teeters on the edge of being a fine read full of intriguing descriptions and sparkling … Continue reading

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Cooking by Jeremy Lee (Fourth Estate)

“The simple truth I’ve learned from a lifetime of cooking is that good food is honed from fine ingredients”. THAT opening sentence may not sound so radical, so revolutionary but it is a statement of courage and intent, the kernel … Continue reading

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The Trees by Percival Everett (Influx Press)

BY itself the cherry tree front cover and title Trees might suggest, visually at least, some rural Celtic saga of family strife, but the insides quickly disabuse that notion. We are in Mississippi noir territory, noir in the sense of … Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Writers by Guillaume Musso (Weidenfield & Nicolson)

“The wind was slapping at the sails in a dazzling sky.” THE opening quote is from Umberto Eco: ‘To survive, you must tell stories.” By half way through this page-turner thriller,  you may have counted six or is that seven … Continue reading

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Treacle Walker by Alan Garner (Fourth Estate)

“Ragbone! Ragbone! Any rags! Pots for rags.” THERE is a fair amount of subtext here, which you might, or might not, need. A little Latin may help. Alan Garner’s first work was published in 1963. He has been admired and … Continue reading

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Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Faber)

“In October there were yellow trees.” A SLIM slice of rural Ireland, from not so long ago. You might see this as an addendum to the bigger Irish politics covered in Fintan O’Toole’s We Don’t Know Ourselves. It is short, … Continue reading

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We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole (Head of Zeus)

“My parents’ wedding photograph always reminds me of a frontier town in an old western.” FOR anyone with a passing curiosity as to the unfolding events in Ireland over the last 60 years, this will be a rewarding, insightful, enjoyable … Continue reading

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The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (Pan Macmillan)

“First things first. Granpa’s gone.” THERE is a fair amount of readerly, philosophy here, virtually a fairy story. Schoolboy inherits bookshop from grandfather. Meets talking cat. On a mission. Drops out of school to chagrin of down to earth class … Continue reading

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The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Orion)

“Bosch didn’t mind the wait. The view was spectacular.” THERE is quite a large canon of Michael Connelly books these days, thirty one in all, he was first published in 1992 and this one came out in 2016.  I picked … Continue reading

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Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (Vintage)

“In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage territory of Oklahoma“. THE opening paragraphs are an exemplar set up for any work of fiction/faction/reportage. The film version is slated for 2023 … Continue reading

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