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

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz may not be that well known to people for his books, even though this is his fifth, but his unseen work as the writer of TV detective series such as Foyle’s War and Midsummer Murders will certainly be more familiar. Two of his books have been Sherlock Holmes stories and one a follow [...]

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop is a good fun read. For a moment I was worried that its music store setting might make it similar to Nick Hornby’s Hi Fidelity from 1995, but those fears quickly vanished. This music shop is owned by Frank, a tall ungainly man who has one special talent, the ability to read [...]

Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

A very enjoyable mix of fiction, biography, travelogue and a writer’s creative angst. Nell Stevens decides to spend part of her Masters course writing her novel on the virtually uninhabited island of Bleaker, part of the Falkland Islands. Unlike the small trickle of tourists, she chooses the middle of winter for her stay in the Falklands, [...]

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 [...]

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