Category Archive: Uncategorized

Apr 26

The Night Ocean by Paul LaFarge

There are times when Paul LaFarge’s The Night Ocean reads like a very well written article for a fanzine. The novels numerous forays into the personal lives and political attitudes of the Futurians, the gossip surrounding Lovecraft’s sexuality and the speculation around Richard Barlow’s suicide are obsessively researched and replete with multiple footnotes. Taken like …

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Apr 20

One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

Daniel Magariel’s debut novel*, One of the Boys, is not a happy clappy book. It features child abuse (physical, rather than sexual), drug addiction and parental betrayal. It’s grim, confronting and tragic. If escapist fiction lives on one side of the spectrum than One of the Boys owns a hovel on the opposite end of …

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Apr 18

A Natural by Ross Raisin

I remember having doubts about Stephen King’s long essay, “Head Down”, the penultimate story in his 1993 collection Nightmare & Dreamscapes. The piece, which was originally published in the New Yorker, chronicles the 1989 Little League baseball season for Owen King’s team, Bangor West. Surprisingly, it happens to be the most compelling work in the …

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Apr 17

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

In Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West doors begin to appear across the planet connecting countries around the world. Whether the actions of a cheeky God, or the activation of a network of wormholes, Hamid never provides a reason as to why these doors exist. They simply do. For the alt-right supporter or ethno-nationalist, who for …

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Apr 14

From the Wreck by Jane Rawson

If the world was fair and just Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck would win numerous awards, both literary and genre. Not that shiny trophies are the arbiter of great fiction, but they do draw attention to the nominees and this a novel that’s worthy of the hype and buzz regularly applied to lesser works. From …

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Apr 13

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

The praise for Lara Elena Donnelly’s debut novel Amberlough has been voluminous. Out of 200 ratings on Goodreads it has an average score of 4.11 out of 5, which is better than a kick in the teeth.* One of my favourite bookish sites, “Literary Hub”, marked it out as one of February’s great novels you …

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Apr 07

Down The Hume by Peter Polites

I stumbled across Peter Polites Down The Hume in an article published in (I think*) The Guardian discussing the new wave of Australian noir. Because I’ve always been interested in noir and because I was neck-deep in the sub-genre during January / February for a forthcoming episode of Shooting the Poo I decided to give …

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Mar 28

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan is a novella that mixes together Lovecraft’s mythos with men in black suits and Area 51 (the Dreamland of the title). In one sense the novella feels like a throwback to the 90s when the X-Files was popular and every second slice of pop culture had something to …

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Mar 23

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami is a collection of three novelettes which, according to the back cover blurb, won the Akutagaw Prize in 1996. This is their first translation and publication in English by the wonderful Pushkin Press who continue to bring fascinating, offbeat translated work to the public. The opening …

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Mar 22

The Intrusions by Stav Sherez

I can’t remember the last time I read a book as genuinely twisty-turny and as gripping as The Intrusions by Stav Sherez. It’s the third novel in the crime fighting adventures of Detectives Jack Carrigan and Geneva Miller but don’t let that put you off. Yes this book references events from the previous books, specifically …

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