The Road, Cormac McCarthy

What’s the bravest thing you ever did? He spat into the road a bloody phlegm. Getting up this morning, he said. Yup. That is how bleak the world of this book is. Tragically, lyrically and devastatingly bleak, but bleak nonetheless. Nothing grows. Nothing lives. The world contains nothing of beauty or of value and very…

The Girl With Glass Feet, Ali Shaw

There are some books that revel in plot, action and events. Other books – perhaps quieter books – are content to develop narrative: characters and settings, relationships and language. This book by Ali Shaw is very clearly and very effectively one of the latter: little really happens, but so much is created. Lets take the…

Trash, Andy Mulligan

I am in two minds over this book. And I think that reflects the fact that the book itself is trying to be two things at once. On the one hand this is a gritty realistic depiction of the most poor in a down trodden society. It is based on the trash piles that Mulligan…

The Midnight Zoo, Sonya Hartnett

A fabulous book! At its most literal level! Reading the blurb of this, the fate of Romany children in Eastern Europe during World War II was an appealing on. Then it mentioned that they come across animals in a zoo which talk to them. Talking animals have never appealed to me: Mrs Frisbee, Beatrix Potter,…