Category Archive: Uncategorized

Jul 02

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Reading All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg could have been a painful process, the equivalent of having your teeth removed via your nostrils. The story of a woman in her late thirties, childless, unmarried and living in New York screams neuroses, therapist and the sort of wacky misadventures that would embarrass Candance Bushnell. And yet …

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Jun 29

Ill Will by Dan Chaon

I remarked on Twitter that while Ill Will by Dan Chaon is often gripping and has some fun with typography the novel did very little that was new for a psychological thriller. This feeling that the book was a tad conventional was the result of picking one of the key reveals toward the end of …

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Jun 28

Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou

Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou opens in the 1970s in an orphanage on the outskirts of Pointe-Noire a port city in the Republic of Congo. Our young protagonist with an incredibly long name but known as Moses (for short) is surprised when Papa Moupelo, a kindly ‘pocket-sized’ priest in elevator heels abruptly disappears. This absence …

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Jun 27

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

More than one reviewer has compared Katie Kitamura’s new novel, A Separation, with Rachel Cusk’s Outline (2014). Both books feature female protagonists, newly divorced, who find themselves on holiday in Greece. They’re also tonally alike, sharply observed, intricately detailed and almost devoid of passion or warmth. And yet while I loved Outline, I was less …

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Jun 26

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

I’m willing to admit that I haven’t read nearly enough of George Saunders’ work other than a couple of short stories and fond memories of his novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. But with all the advance talk about his début novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, I was more than willing to board …

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Jun 22

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

I loved Eileen and I loved this collection but it’s not going to be for everyone. The stories all – with the possible exception of the last one which is tonally very different – deal with similar themes and fascinations. Social awkwardness, being the outsider, an obsessive interest in the human body (a couple of stories …

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Jun 20

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins

A tweet from the critic – and my favourite tastemaker – John Self sent me in the direction of this slim collection of stories by Kathleen Collins. I’d never heard of Collins, not particularly surprising given she died in 1988 (from breast cancer at the age of 46) and was best known for the movie …

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Jun 16

The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

I really liked The Grace of Kings when I read it last year and said as much on my blog. In my review back then I noted the criticism levelled at the novel in regard to limited female representation – especially in the first half of the book. I was OK with it because when …

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Jun 15

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

It’s been four years since Michael Chabon published a novel. That was Telegraph Avenue which I never got around to reading (and may have dodged a bullet based on the reviews). It’s been seven years since I’ve read a novel by Michael Chabon. That was The Yiddish Policeman’s Union which was a fantastic read (and …

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Jun 14

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Swing Time is my first taste of Zadie Smith’s work and I feel like I might have got on the wrong bus. It’s not that the book is awful or even average. In fact a good deal of the novel is funny and smart and incredibly well written. But it’s funny how one thing, a …

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