Tag Archive: 2017

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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Mar 21

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

I did not like The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. That’s an understatement. I found the book to be annoying, miserable and nihilistic. Anyone else would have put the novel down after 50 pages, maybe at the point where an 11-year-old boy is repeatedly raped by a nun, or a girl is beaten black …

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Mar 21

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

This is one of those psychological thrillers of the waiting for the penny to drop variety. I’ve actually read Pinborough’s work before, a forgettable Torchwood novel, and would have passed this one by if not for a decent write-up in the New York Times. Even without that review I might have read the book anyway …

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Mar 17

The Book of Etta by Meg Elison

I loved The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. It was raw and unfiltered, uniquely exploring the issue of female reproductive rights in the middle of an apocalypse. I loved it so much that after reviewing it on my blog I suggested the book to Kirstyn for The Writer and the Critic podcast. I then applauded …

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Mar 15

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I struggled to figure out the point of this book. I understand that Gaiman has a love for the Norse myths, but this project, which essentially re-writes those myths with a Gaiman gloss, seems indulgent to me. Not that I’m familiar with the source material (the Edda), but from what I could tell from a …

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Mar 14

Follow Me Into the Dark by Felicia C. Sullivan

Follow Me Into the Dark opens with thirty-something Kate setting aflame the hair of her step-father’s mistress Gillian. It’s possibly the least fucked-up thing to happen in the novel. In 2013 Felicia C. Sullivan wrote a memoir about her childhood. I’ve not read the book but if the back cover copy is anything to go …

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