Review: F – Daniel Kehlmann

Having previously enjoyed Daniel Kehlmann’s book Measuring The World, I was pleased to receive his new novel “F”. I found it to be a complex piece of work; on one level the story of three brothers in their journey from childhood to adult life, and on another level, a philosophical exploration of the meaning of […]

Review: The Leipzig Affair – Fiona Rintoul

1985 was not a good year to live in The German Democratic Republic. While the country was still in the grip of an oppressive communist government, the wealth and freedoms of the west were becoming ever more visible thanks to the population’s exposure to western radio and television. Only the most loyal communists could continue […]

Review: Piano from a 4th Storey Window – Jenny Morton Potts

I have read quite a few books based in Brighton from Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock to the police procedural thrillers of Peter James. Robert Dickinson presented a dystopian vision of a Brighton of the future in which social order had disintegrated (The Noise of Strangers), and Robert Rankin described a Brighton Zodiac with carriageway constellations […]

Review: The Betrayers – David Bezmozgis

I enjoyed reading this unusual book, The Betrayers, which charts a few days in the life of senior Israeli politician Baruch Kotler as he travels to Yalta to escape press coverage of his extra-marital affair. Along the way we pick up on Baruch’s intriguing back-story as a Soviet dissident, and also meet the man who […]

Review: Lila – Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson came to fame with her novel Gilead in which an elderly small-town Congregational Minister John Ames reflects on his own life and the lives of his immediate family, particularly his second wife Lila and his seven year old son. In her second book Home, Robinson write about the family of John Ames best […]

Review: The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber

Back in 2002 Michel Faber published a novel called The Crimson Petal and the White which Kathryn Hughes in The Guardian called “a supremely literary novel” and “dizzyingly accomplished” – a description which I totally agreed with. Looking back on this superb book I still feel it would be up in my top ten ever […]

Review: Hidden Knowledge – Bernardine Bishop

I have never read anything by Bernardine Bishop before but was drawn to Hidden Knowledge by reading a review of it in the Sunday Times and then by the five star reviews on Amazon (which I have been pleased to add to). Although clerical abuse features in the book, I wouldn’t say that it’s […]

Review: The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters

I thought I wouldn’t be able to stay away from writing about books for long and it only took a fine novel like The Paying Guests to start putting fingers to keyboard again.

Let me say at the start, there are no spoilers in this review.

After reading a few “so-so” books I found myself […]

Review: Death in Pont-Aven – Jean-Luc Bannalec

And what do we have here? The first novel in a crime series by a new French writer, Jean-Luc Bannalec? Well, not quite, for most literary journalists are agreed that M Bannelec is in fact Jörg Bong, a top German publisher who has been doing a bit of moon-lighting by creating the somewhat grumpy police […]

Review: Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

So, it’s today’s Germany, and Adolf Hitler finds himself waking up early one afternoon on a patch of undeveloped land.

It was relatively quiet; I could not see any enemy aircraft flying overhead, or hear the thunder of artillery fire, there seemed to be no shelling nearby or explosions, no air-raid sirens. It also struck […]