Review: Anatomy of a Night – Anna Kim

Anna Kim was born in South Korea but was brought up in Germany where her father was appointed a Professor of Fine Arts. She writes in German and her book Anatomy of a Night is one of the first four books to be published by new Berlin-based publisher Frisch and Co who specialise in […]

Review: From the Fatherland With Love – Ryu Murakami

From the Fatherland With Love is a vast novel (664 pages), written on an epic scale, an alternative reality novel describing the events surrounding the invasion of and economically bankrupt Japan by an opportunistic North Korea. It’s author, Ryu Murakami, wrote the book in 2005 when the Japanese economy had gone into decline. By setting […]

Revew: Balzac’s Omelette – Anka Muhlstein

This book ticks a number of boxes for me:

– It describes the literary world of Paris in the 19th century; – It homes in on Honore de Balzac, a writer I have been reading for the last two or three years; – It describes the history of French cooking and eating-out; – It’s very […]

Review: Diary of a Man in Despair – Friedrich Reck

It would be easy to let the title of this book put you off it: Diary of a Man in Despair, does not sound as though it’s going to be an entertaining read, but I share the view of Guy Savage of His Futile Preoccupations that this is an “extraordinary document”, a “unique testament” to […]

Review: Ljubljana Tales – New Europe Writers

Ljubljana Tales is published by New Europe Writers, a publishing enterprise dedicated to exploring the literary connections between the various European states, with an emphasis on those countries which were formally behind the Iron Curtain.

They have published several volumes of “Tales” including Warsaw Tales (now available for free download), Budapest Tales, Prague Tales […]

Review: The Dance of the Seagull – Andrea Camilleri

I apologise that my email notification system is not working very well at the moment. While some subscribers are receiving emails for every post, some are receiving none. I have tried and failed to resolve this problem and am in the process of installing a new system to which I have to transfer all the […]

Review: We’re Flying – Peter Stamm

Short stories come in so many different types you never know what you’re getting until you open the book and plough into the first two or three. Sometimes the main purpose of them is entertainment as with collections of crime or humorous stories. Other times they have a message, perhaps being little vignettes illustrating […]

Review: A Private Venus – Georgio Scerbanenco

I’m writing this week about two examples of “Noir” crime fiction. On Monday I featured Severe by French writer Régis Jauffret. Today my featured book is an example of Italian Noir, A Private Venus by Giorgio Scerbanenco published by Italian crime fiction specialists, Hersilia Press. Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) is described in the introduction as “the […]

Review: Severe – Régis Jauffret

I was pleased to hear about Salammbo Press, a new publisher dedicated to publishing “the works of great contemporary novelists celebrated in their own country, but as yet unknown to British readers”. Salammbo are publishing three books by French writer Régis Jauffret who has 18 books to his name and won the Prix Femina in […]

Review: Saturn – Jacek Dehnel

Saturn by Polish author Jacek Dehnel is a historical novel based on the life of Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The shocking cover illustration shows one of Francisco Goya’s “Black Paintings” depicting Saturn devouring one of his sons. When Goya was in his seventies, he painted the Black Paintings directly onto the walls of his house […]