Review: The Quarry – Johan Theorin

I am going to keep this review shorter than usual because I am working on a couple of larger projects at the moment and am not writing much this week – normal service will be resumed in a few days time.

I seem to be having a binge on Scandi-crime novels this month – The [...]

Review: The Winter of the Lions- Jan Costin Wagner

The Winter of the Lions comes into the unusual category of a Scandinavian crime novel written by a German. The writer, Jan Costin Wagner has the unusual distinction of being selected by the Goethe Institute as one of their “hand-picked Germans“, presumably because his books have been translated into quite a number of languages and [...]

Review: The Death of the Adversary – Hans Keilson

Hans Keilson died in 2011 at the age of 101. A German Jew, Keilson and his non-Jewish wife fled to the Netherlands in 1936 to avoid Nazi persecution. The couple separated during the war while Keilson went into hiding, undertaking work among the Jewish children separated from their parents. He reunited with his wife after [...]

Review: A Slight Misunderstanding – Prosper Mérimée

I have just been to see the film Les Miserables, a brilliantly produced gloom-fest (despite the best efforts of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter to lighten the tone). My response wasn’t quite as dramatic as that of the family in the viral video who left the cinema sobbing (hear the father say, [...]

Review: The Beggar King – Oliver Pötzsch

AmazonCrossing is Amazon’s new venture into translating world literature into English. An interview with Jeff Belle, the head of Amazon Crossing suggests that this is a genuine attempt to rectify the imbalance in translations (far more books are translated from English than into English). No doubt there are also strong commercial motives for setting up [...]

Review: Hour of the Wolf – Håkan Nesser

After two years and three months my Kindle finally gave up the ghost by presenting me with a screen consisting of a mess of horizontal lines and black and white blocks. It’s had some pretty rough treatment – being put in my trouser pocket while on long cycle rides, being rolled on when I fell [...]

Review: It’s Fine By Me – Per Petterson

When non-English writers get their work published in translation you often find that when they enjoy success in translation, their publishers begin to translate and publish books from their back-catalogue. Per Petterson is in this situation; his books Out Stealing Horses, To Siberia and I Curse The River of Time have been very well [...]

Review: The Road to Los Angeles – John Fante

I’d never heard of American writer John Fante before being recommended this book, The Road to Los Angeles by Emma and Guy of Bookaroundthecorner and His Futile Preoccupations under their Merry Christmas Humbook scheme. I had no idea what to expect but knew that John Fante has attracted attention as a significant American writer of [...]