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Archives for May 2007

Louise Welsh: Tamburlaine Must Die

I read Welsh’s first release, The Cutting Room, when the paperback was released and I read it during a day off work. Looking back, I wish I’d went to work but my only real memory of the book is that… continue reading »

Sam Selvon: The Lonely Londoners

First published in 1956, Trinidadian born, Sam Selvon, began his London based fictions with a short novel called The Lonely Londoners. It’s set during a time when many West Indians were emigrating from a life of sunshine to the British… continue reading »

Leo Tolstoy: The Death Of Ivan Ilyich

Beginning, as it does, with the death of Ivan Ilyich, you wouldn’t think there was much left to say but Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Death Of Ivan Ilyich, then winds the narrative back to an earlier part of the character’s… continue reading »

Tim Krabbé: The Vanishing

Not many books can claim to have been filmed on more than one occasion although as Hollywood becomes more of a recycling plant than a hotbed of imagination that will soon go out the window. Published in 1984 as Het… continue reading »

Ian Cross: The God Boy

Were it not for my rather unnatural obsession as regards collecting all of the Penguin Classics, I may never have heard of The God Boy by New Zealand journalist, Ian Cross. Written in the late fifties, this debut novel falls… continue reading »

John McPhee: Oranges

First published in the 1960s, Oranges by twice Pulitzer winning journalist, John McPhee got a limited lease of life back in 2000 when Penguin reissued it as a modern classic. And while it’s an interesting little book covering pretty much… continue reading »

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa: Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories

I bought the new Penguin Classic, Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories by Japanese author, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), with the intention of furthering my knowledge of Japanese fiction and its writers beyond Mishima and the spaghetti obsessed Murakami. What I found… continue reading »

Atiq Rahimi: Earth And Ashes

First published in 2000, Atiq Rahimi’s Earth And Ashes is a short novella set in his native Afghanistan (he’s another one of those writers that run away to France, like Milan Kundera and Gao Xingjian when the going gets tough)… continue reading »

Milan Kundera: Ignorance

Ignorance, by Milan Kundera, is a small novel but big on ideas. Playing like a watered down Odyssey, two Czech émigrés return to post-communist Prague after twenty years. A chance meeting in the airport stirs memories of long ago that… continue reading »

Bernard MacLaverty: Lamb

Lamb, by Bernard MacLaverty, is, at 150 pages, a short read, but its brevity serves only to provide a perfectly told story without padding or exposition. It follows the story of a young priest, Michael Lamb (or Brother Sebastian), who… continue reading »

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