Category Archives: fiction

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Sphere) part one

review of the latest Strike novel
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Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Vintage)

“I sometimes wonder what was disappeared first – among all the things that have vanished from the island.” THE original Japanese version was titled Secret Crystalisation which also marries with the snow falling across the island and perhaps the fate … Continue reading

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Summer by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

SO, we have the younger genius brother from hell, the father’s mistress who is struck dumb. This is the fourth in the quartet (I presume) and like the other volumes the opening salvo takes no prisoners. “As in, so what?” … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos (Pushkin)

“In 1971, the American writer Richard Brautigan published a quirky love story about a male librarian and a young woman with a spectacular body.” A PROPER mystery of the kind that perhaps might not have even been translated into English … Continue reading

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The Panda Theory by Pascal Garnier (Gallic)

“He was sitting alone at the end of a bench on a deserted railway station.” I REALLY like the way Passcal Garnier writes. Setting aside the surrealist crimo plotlines, his characters breathe. They are in the moment. We are with … Continue reading

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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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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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