Author Archives: drewsmith28

About drewsmith28

Words, words, words...

Love Many by Niamh Campbell (winner of Sunday Times audio award)

IT is scandalous to suggest that this blog is in some way in the pay of the James Joyce Jolly bursary to promote writers of Irish descent. It is true that I took a drink (an obscure poteen derivation) from … Continue reading

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Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor (Secker & Warburg)

“All night long he would walk the ship, from bow to stern, from dusk until quarterlight, that stick-like limping man from Connemara with the drooping shoulders and ash-coloured clothes”. I HAD to re-read Joseph O’Connor’s towering fiction on the Irish … Continue reading

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A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry (Faber)

“I am Winona. In early times I was Ojinjintka, which means rose.” SO we are back with those McNulty’s again are we, Sebastian? Another tome in the family history? More about naughty uncle Thomas in Tennessee? Barry’s prose can read … Continue reading

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Ireland’s Green Larder by Margaret Hickey (Unbound) “The island of Ireland is so small you can drive across it in a few hours…yet it became the cradle of literature, music and dance, of politicians and soldiers, of philosophers and saints, … Continue reading

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AN ISOLATIONIST'S READING LIST

FOR the best in modern writing compiled over much of the past decade just tick the 101 button to the right, a compendium of independent recommendations from my book shelf, fairly scrupulously curated, in no order because each rewards the … Continue reading

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In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O’Shaughnessy (Scribe)

“The train had shuddered to a halt. Clatter of doors-opening and shutting, noise echoing in the huge vault of Euston station, a smell of oil-flavoured steam and soot. A last door opens…”  THERE might be a warning on this: do … Continue reading

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Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin (Daunt)

“He arrived muffled up in a woollen coat.” ELISA Shua Dusapin is Korean, Swiss and French all of which infuse this short would-be love story, told in staccato English, as if the grammar were Korean hieroglyphics. Out of season, the … Continue reading

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Scrublands by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin)

“The day is still. The heat, having eased during the night, is building again; the sky is cloudless and unforgiving, the sun punishing.”   THE journalist as detective sleuth is obvious, if largely uncharted. Maybe there is a mental barrier … Continue reading

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Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Penguin)

“There is a body on the Gurney Street tracks.” THE come-on cover copy and graphics suggest this is another crimo-detecto: Move over Michael Connelly. Step aside James Lee Burke. There is a new girl in town. A new town in … Continue reading

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The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas by Daniel James (dead ink)

“This book is dangerous” Brash, original, smart… star reporter Daniel James chases down the elusive recluse that is Ezra Maas, cult artist, vanished megastar…this is the kind of book destined, I hope, to find a cult following of its own, … Continue reading

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