Category Archives: Books

A comedy of misunderstanding?

I’ve just been reading an interview with an author talking about Shakespeare and Romantic comedies. I do wonder if there is a misunderstanding about what Shakespeare is doing with comedy. It is, in my mind, more about balance than jokes: … Continue reading

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Hall Speaks the world

Louisa Hall‘s novel,  Speak, is a wonderful thing. Lyrical and understated, the book uses many types of language and effect to carry the reader through the story. Using five different voices in various media and registers, the robot relays its … Continue reading

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Dreams of a Failing Europe

Dave Hutchinson’s Europe at Midnight continues the timely inspection of Europe as the near future crumbles into our own. Borders having crumbled, a unstable, flue-ravaged continent has new nations springing up. Jim, an intelligence agent, has to deal with the … Continue reading

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Failing dreams

Jo Walton’s The Philosopher Kings (Corsair, £8.99) is the sequel to the Just City (Corsair, £8.99). After the Last Debate and Simmea’s murder in an art theft, we see the beginning of the dream of Plato’s Republic failing with some … Continue reading

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Chasing machines across galaxies with Michael Cobley

Michael Cobley’s Ancestral Machines (Orbit, £18.99) is a solid Space Opera that is highly enjoyable. Set in the Humanity’s Fire world, this is a large scale story. After being double crossed in a deal then a rescue, Captain Pyke has … Continue reading

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Mend the gap: Winterson’s take on the Winter’s Tale

Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap in Time (Hogarth Shakespeare) is her “cover version” of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. It is a notorious play that challenges the reader but has been a touchstone of Winterson’s work. Given the nature of the play, … Continue reading

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More than one way to cover a book – Alice Thompson’s The Book Collector

I came across  a notice of The Book Collector by Alice Thompson (Salt, £8.99) in the Observer. I think it had a review in the Guardian as well but not having read the book, I avoided the review. However, I … Continue reading

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The ghosts of Slade House

David Mitchell’s Slade House is a ghost novella, at first glance. Every 9 years, the owner of Slade House appear to capture another victim to continue their reign. Mitchell develops a sense of claustrophobia through his use of grammar and … Continue reading

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Occasional Readings until Halloween

I’ve been reading fairy tales as a response to some reviews in the Guardian of two new collections. I started with Jamila Gavin’s collection, Blackberry Blue and Other Tales (Tamarind, £9.99). In her preface, she writes that she to write … Continue reading

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Into the heart of the original with Aylett

If you have ever wandered the streets of Beerlight or enjoyed the works of Jeff Lint (books or documentary on AylettVision on YouTube) or Dinner with Argle on YouTube, then you may be aware of the originality of Steve Aylett. … Continue reading

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