Tag Archive: Book Review

Mar 09

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

Oh Idaho, you are one shattering novel. It’s a gentle shattering like a child tapping on the shell of a boiled egg. There’s no single punch to the gut but rather a gradual build-up that leaves you devastated. At the heart of the novel – and revealed early in the book – is the death …

Continue reading »

Mar 08

Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson

So what to make of Steve Erickson’s Shadowbahn. It’s already been described as the first post-Trump novel, which is a tad ironic given the President – not named – in Erickson’s near future (the book is set in 2021) is female and it’s under this female President (look, we know it’s Hillary) that America fractures …

Continue reading »

Jan 06

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone spans a fourty year period.  It begins in the 1960s when Margaret, an American living in London, marries John, who while charming and charismatic has also been battling with depression since he was a teen. Moving back to America they have three children, Michael, Celia and Alec. For most of …

Continue reading »

Jan 04

Serious Sweet by A.L. Kennedy

Jon is a public servant in Westminster who hates his job. He’s just left his wife – who was having an affair – and struggles to be a decent father to his daughter. In his spare time he writes love letters (for a small fee) to single women looking for companionship, even if it’s in …

Continue reading »

Dec 21

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Do Not Say We Have Nothing is an overlong multi-generational saga mostly set in China that deals with more than 60 years of the country’s history, starting with 1949’s Communist Revolution moving onto the Cultural Revolution (1966) and climaxing with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. In between these major events in Chinese history we …

Continue reading »

Dec 20

The Schooldays of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee

It’s been pointed out to me that this isn’t the best place to start with Coetzee. Not just because this is the second book in a planned trilogy (the first novel being The Childhood of Jesus) but because Coetzee, with his long, distinguished, Nobel Prize winning career has written many a fine novel and this …

Continue reading »

Dec 16

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project is a historical crime novel, set in the 1860s, that takes place, for the most part, in Culduie, a small hamlet in the Scottish Highlands. Through the medium of found documents, newspaper articles and police reports of the time, the book details the brutal murder of 40-year-old Lachlan MacKenzie, 15-year-old …

Continue reading »

Dec 15

Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves

It’s bad form when a reviewer critiques a novel for not being the book her or she wanted.  Unprofessional even.  And yet here I am writing a critique that does precisely that.  It’s not my fault though.  I blame Virginia Reeves for constantly reminding me, teasing me even, with that better novel hiding in the …

Continue reading »

Dec 13

The Many by Wyl Menmuir

Wyl Menmuir’s The Many is a frustrating read in as much as you can see what the author was striving for – grief explored through dream and symbolism – but fails to reach the mark. The bulk of the action takes place in an isolated fishing town on the coast of what I assume is …

Continue reading »

Dec 12

All That Man Is by David Szalay

David Szalay’s All That Man Is isn’t so much a novel* as a suite of nine novelettes. What connects these novelettes isn’t a character – although there is a genetic connection between the protagonists of stories one and nine – or a setting – though traveling through Europe is a consistent feature of each story …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts