Marcus Hobson

Marcus Hobson Marcus was until recently a businessman but has given all that up to follow his lifelong passion to be a writer. With a varied career behind him, including a degree in Ancient and Mediaeval History (and archaeology) he has wide ranging literary tastes from popular fiction to Viking sea burials. He is currently working on his second novel, a mix of fact and fiction set in the First World War (and crossing his fingers about getting his first book published). Marcus lives near Tauranga with his wife and their daughters, and is the Literary Editor of ARTbop, a local online magazine .

Books

Heloise by Mandy Hager

The subtitle, Forbidden Love in a Hostile World, is a good summary of Mandy Hager’s new book. It is a dense work of historical fiction, rich with actual quotes from the main characters and a deep understanding of the history of the time. The story is a familiar one, that of Heloise and Abelard, lovers [...]

The Suicide Club by Sarah Quigley

Sometime when you read a book it will make you feel completely inadequate as a writer. That was how I felt after reading the first few chapters of Sarah Quigley’s new book, The Suicide Club. The characters are so beautifully drawn, the writing is alive with wonderful language and the plot has you on the [...]

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Last year Elizabeth Strout’s novel My Name is Lucy Barton was one of the long list nominations for the Man Booker Prize. It is a hugely enjoyable novel about a young woman who leaves behind a poverty-stricken rural upbringing to move to New York, where she becomes a successful writer. Forced to spend some weeks [...]

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Reading a proof copy of this novel, all four sides of the cover are full of praise for Helen Dunmore. Picked out for particular note are her gift for human observation and her ability to portray the horrors of history. Sadly I reached the end of this novel and shrugged my shoulders. True it was [...]

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

There has been lots of hype and many glowing reviews of Lincoln in the Bardo, but I have to confess that I can't see what all the fuss is about. I think I was expecting more. Without a doubt it is an experimental novel; it certainly shows us that pushing the boundaries with fiction has [...]

The Girl Before by J P Delaney

This was quite simply a roller coaster of a novel. It has everything that is needed from a good psychological thriller. None of us react well when there are too many rules, but when an architect creates hundred of rules about how to live in one of the houses he built, there are only a [...]

A Crime in the Family by Sacha Batthyany

I enjoyed A Crime in the Family. It is promoted as revealing one of the most extraordinary untold stories of the Second World War. In reality it describes one man’s search to understand his own and his family’s past history and the dark secrets that lurk within. As a journey of personal discovery, I was [...]

The Good People by Hannah Kent

What an excellent book; a really engrossing read that is brilliantly written. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about a novel that makes it so good, and makes you read it in a rush. Just making the reader eager to keep turning the pages is one of those factors. But for [...]

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