fiction

This is a departure for Sebastian Barry, a book set entirely in mid to late nineteenth century America. We follow the fortunes of two young men, John Cole and Thomas McNulty, who sign up for the army and end up fighting in the Indian Wars and then the Civil War. I say it is a… Read More

I found this novel excellent. It worked so well on lots of levels. Very simply, it is the story of an extended family over time. It begins at the christening party for Franny Keating, where the uninvited Bert Cousins turns up and kisses Beverley Keating, the young girl's mother. This sets the whole story in… Read More

In contemporary Western society, the concept of female self-starvation is something that most of us would have encountered, whether it is through popular diet plans that make claims on how to achieve the ideal svelte figure broadcast by fashionable celebrities, to the other end of the spectrum, where girls and women seek to self-regulate their… Read More

You have to get to a certain age to really be able to appreciate a book like this. You have to be able to look back on your childhood with a few years of perspective to be able to understand and articulate your reading habits and the effect that they may have had on your… Read More

Joe Hill is a very clever man. Let’s start with that. Why is he clever? Well for one thing he’s published under the pseudonym Joe Hill instead of taking his birth name, Joseph King, a name given to him by his father, Stephen King. Yes, That Stephen King. This was a shrewd move by Joe… Read More

First up, I must say that I’m a big fan of Alex Miller’s novels, with my favourites being Landscape of Farewell and Lovesong. This new book contains both short fiction and true stories about the inspiration for these novels and in particular the characters that inspired the stories. It also tells me lots about Miller’s… Read More

“You don't get to a place by constantly moving, even if your journey is only one of sitting still and waiting. Every once in a while you have to stop in your tracks and admire the view, a small cloud and tree outside your window. You have to see what you did not see before. And… Read More

I’ve been reading a fair few books lately which were designed to have a “message” – that is, to convince the reader of a certain point of view, using fiction as a medium for the author’s voice. Message fiction and I don’t usually get along: I have never enjoyed being told what to do, and… Read More

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