This is an extraordinary and very strange and elegiacal novel, a nightmarish phantasm of a read: it celebrates classic cinema and its creativity and originality; it lambasts the homogenised sanitised experience of modern cinema; it is cruelly loving of its characters and almost lyrical in its palpable sense of decay. This was unlike anything that I have read in a while...
Category: Unreliable Narrator
Book Review: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, Janice Hallett
Another slippery little thriller with everything you would expect from Janice Hallett: an epistolary format using messages, emails, transcripts and, here, extracts from fictionalised accounts of events; vivid characters brought to life through their own (unreliable) voices, a twisty plot. A great, fun read to see the new year in with.
Book Review: Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet
Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe
In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny… Continue reading Book Review: Hare House, Sally Hinchcliffe
Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett
Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced… Continue reading Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett
Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
'The Sun always has ways to reach us.'From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges… Continue reading Book Review: Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi
“But then, maybe “I don’t believe in you” is the cruelest way to kill a monster.” Oyeyemi has been on my radar for a while, but has been languishing on my bookshelf for longer than she deserves. There were words and phrases connected to her which tantalised - fairy tale, gothic, ghost, unconventional - and… Continue reading Book Review: White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi
Top Five Saturday: Unreliable Narrators
Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. The list of themes currently runs at 1/4/20 — Funny Books1/11/20 — Books Over 5 years old1/18/20 — Unreliable Narrators1/25/10 — Books by Favorite Authors Ooooo I love me an unreliable narrator! The moment when we… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Unreliable Narrators
Blackberry and Wild Rose, Sonia Velton
There is nothing like a rich and sumptuous historical novel and the cover of Velton's Blackberry and Wild Rose was so beautiful I had high high hopes. Possibly too high. The novel revolves around two women in eighteenth century London, a setting that I am not familiar with: the sixteenth century has been such a… Continue reading Blackberry and Wild Rose, Sonia Velton
The Trespasser, Tana French
I'd been saving this one up for the summer holidays when I have time to indulge it, not sneaking a half-hour read in late at night when I should be sleeping. I also wanted to head back to the beginning of the series, having started with The Secret Place, and catch up chronologically. And I… Continue reading The Trespasser, Tana French
The Man Who Saw Everything, Deborah Levy
Disclaimer: Received from NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin, in exchange for an honest review. There are some novels which flow fluidly like a river. Others are curved and twisted. Others are very linear taking a route from inciting incident to resolution without a deviation. Others are shaped like a tree, branching and dividing but never… Continue reading The Man Who Saw Everything, Deborah Levy
Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver
This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake's End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,… Continue reading Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver
The Pisces, Melissa Broder
Why is it that the words of female sexuality - and of female anatomy - are either rendered taboo or fetishised in our society ? Vagina. Clitoris. Vulva. Menstruation. Compared to "cock", there is a different quality in these words. A frisson of shock and challenge. And that is a frisson which Broder does not… Continue reading The Pisces, Melissa Broder
Circe, Madeline Miller
Divine days fall like water from a cataract, and I had not learned yet the mortal trick of counting them.
30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20!
Heading - finally - into the last ten entries with A book with an unreliable narrator I do love me an unreliable narrator since reading Poe. Oh The Tell-Tale Heart! You know you've made it when your novel is restaged by The Simpsons! I love that shifting uncertainty of these narrators: how are they misleading… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20!
The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker
The Greek epics seem to have had a resurgence - dare one say a renaissance? - or a reimagining recently. On my to-be-read list are Stephen Fry's Mythos and Heroes, Madeline Miller's Circe, and Song of Achilles and now this by Pat Barker. I don't know what the appeal is of these narratives, nor why they are… Continue reading The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Jay Fowler
Why are so few book covers yellow? This looks gorgeous! Like a literary bumblebee. I have to confess, the only reason I picked this up was the cover - despite the advice parents give their children the world over. That and Waterstone's promotions. But I'm really glad I did because it's a powerful, haunting, human… Continue reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Jay Fowler
Room, Emma Donoghue
This book had been on my to-read list since it was listed for The Booker Prize. The copy I had was electronic and just stopped about 20 pages in... And I never got round to replacing it. Until it cropped up whilst I was browsing on Audible. This was a perfect book for an audio… Continue reading Room, Emma Donoghue
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