Category Archives: fiction

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker)

My dearest Ellen, Please excuse this too-long-delayed response JOSEPH, how nice to see you again. Another tome, lovely. A pleasure, I am sure. A treat even. Back in the Ghost Light territory are we? I never connected that Bram Stoker … Continue reading

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Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)

“It happened in the middle of a brightly moonlight night in the Beaujolais vineyards.” ANTOINE Laurain writes the kind of stories that do not seem to get published in Britain – a plot, a gaggle of characters, mostly quite likable … Continue reading

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Spring by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

“Now what we don’t want is Facts” THE first two of this potential quartet – Autumn and Winter –  were pleasant if not totally convincing as the contemporary novel of weight and import. This on the other hand opens with … Continue reading

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The elegance of the hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Gallic)

“Marx has completely changed the way I view the world,” declared the Pallieres boy this morning, although ordinarily he says nary a word to me.” PERHAPS it is just my personal taste, but it seems as if a new form … Continue reading

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Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber)

“The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.” THE prose is wonderfully joyful and rambling. The Guardian refers to this winner … Continue reading

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How’s the pain? by Pascal Garnier (Gallic)

“The sound coming from somewhere in the darkness was barekly audible, but it was enough…   I AM unsure about the title, douleur can be translated as pain, but it also implies grief, soreness, aching, distress and misery as in … Continue reading

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The gallows pole by Benjamin Myers (Bluemoose)

“Soot and ash. Snot and spume. Quag and sump and clotted moss. Loam.” THE opening playful poetry should not distract you… we are off to a flying start, it is 1767, we are on a secret errand, we pass the … Continue reading

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