Category: Uncategorized

Aug 15

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Megan Hunter’s very slim novel (it’s really a novelette, but who’s counting) The End We Start From beautifully marries together a world-wide environmental collapse with the difficulties of giving birth and rearing children when the normal support mechanisms no longer exist. Hunter’s prose is poetic but sparse. Characters are not given names, just initials. Tonally …

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Aug 14

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

Lidia Yuknavitch’s post apocalyptic novel The Book of Joan opens on an orbital platform known as CIEL floating above a mostly radioactive Earth. The event that devastated the planet also fucked with humanities morphology leaving people pale, hairless and without sex. Christine is one of these people, and like the thousands of other survivors who …

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Aug 10

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell is not one of Dennis Lehane’s better novels. Like all his work it’s compulsively readable, there was never a point when I didn’t want to turn the page. But it’s most certainly a novel of two halves, where the first half, tonally and in terms of content, exists in a separate reality …

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Aug 08

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

There are very few writers who could pull off a short-story – let alone a novel – that features a three-storey flying bear with a rapacious appetite for human flesh. Unfortunately Jeff Vandermeer isn’t one of them. Kidding. Of course he bloody well is. This is a man with an imagination so fertile, so fecund, …

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Aug 07

The Silent Invasion by James Bradley

James Bradley is a mate so it’s certainly possible that my thoughts about The Silent Invasion are biased. Except I know that’s not the case. I didn’t love the book because James wrote it, I loved the book because it’s an intense, exciting and politically aware young adult novel about the possible end of the …

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Jul 20

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

It’s astonishing how much detail, plot and character development Vivek Shanbhag packs into his novella Ghachar Ghochar. Published for the first time in English and beautifully translated from Kannada by Srinath Perur, the book is an epic family saga told in less than 30,000 words. On the surface it’s a rags to riches tales as …

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Jul 19

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

While Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 could have done with a haircut – to the worth of 30,000 or so words – that doesn’t change the fact that it’s both enormously entertaining and has something to say. Set in a partly flooded Manhattan, with flashbacks to the boroughs of New York, KSR tells a …

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Jul 10

Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor is a very strong and erudite collection of short fiction. There’s a real sense of range and diversity to the stories that feature in the book. A piece recounting the final days of a city on the cusp of being razed to the ground by the khan’s armies …

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Jul 06

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen

Krissy Kneen’s An Uncertain Grace is a marvelous book, the sort of marvelous book that deserves the type of in-depth analysis that I don’t have time to provide. It’s a toss-up between this novel and Jane Rawson’s From The Wreck as to which is my favourite book (so far) for the year. While I might …

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Jul 03

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

When literary blogs and the book section of newspapers published their list of novels to look forward to in 2017, Elif Batuman’s The Idiot was listed frequently. Her previous book, The Possessed, a collection of Batuman’s pieces on the topic of Russian literature garnered a great deal of praise and while that was six years …

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