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Archives for November 2007

Quim Monzó: The Enormity Of The Tragedy

There’s probably a lot of jokes than can be made about an author named Quim translated by someone called Bush and, with that in mind, I’ll try and give them a wide berth. So, by way of introduction, the Catalan… continue reading »

Noel Virtue: The Redemption Of Elsdon Bird

When a novel centres around child who has a hard life, I can’t help thinking that it’s a fictional take on the author’s own upbringing. I could find scant information on Noel Virtue, but his first novel, The Redemption Of… continue reading »

Italo Calvino: The Castle Of Crossed Destinies

It has been a couple of years since I first read Italo Calvino, picking up his wonderful if on a winter’s night a traveler on a whim and being captivated by its self-referential opening sentence. In the time since I’ve… continue reading »

Ron Hansen: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

I‘ve always enjoyed the occasional western although racking my brains it would seem that my whole experience of the genre is limited to cinema, so it felt right, especially with the film adaptation’s upcoming release, to read my first western… continue reading »

Dan Fante: Corksucker

Having read a novel by John Fante a couple of years back I was interested in reading something by his son, Dan. From what I understand, Fante fils is more in the mould of Charles Bukowski, who was apparently inspired… continue reading »

Tarjei Vesaas: The Ice Palace

There’s a common misconception that Eskimos have an inflated number of words for snow. Probably because there’s various Eskimo tribes, all speaking their own languages. I have no idea how many words there are in Norwegian – or Nynorsk, to… continue reading »

Joyce Carol Oates: Black Water

Joyce Carol Oates is one of those authors who seem to have a book out every year and, with forty years’ worth of output spanning novels, short stories, plays, essays, poetry, and more, it feels strange never to have read… continue reading »

Don DeLillo: The Body Artist

Don DeLillo is an author I’ve been wanting to read for some time but have never got round to, for two reasons. The first, stupidly, is that his novel Underworld sticks in my mind as too large to entice me… continue reading »

Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader

There seems to be a trend for slim pocket volumes coming with exorbitant prices. First there was André Brink‘s The Blue Door and now it’s Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader. Again, at £10.99 for such a slight volume, it was… continue reading »

André Brink: The Blue Door

On the back of André Brink’s The Blue Door there’s a quote from Nadine Gordimer referring to it as a novel but, at 122 pages, it has even less of a claim to novelhood than Ian McEwan‘s On Chesil Beach.… continue reading »

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