Tag Archive: Book Review

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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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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