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Week 74: Mother’s Milk by Edward St. Aubyn

By | 2018-11-13T14:03:20+00:00 November 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Mother's Milk book review Patrick Melrose is a well-born, forty-something London barrister who, having burned through his inheritance, is now reduced to having to work for a living. Married with two young sons, Melrose is what is commonly called a "survivor", although his actual survival is frequently in doubt. As a young child he [...]

Week 73: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth

By | 2018-11-06T13:59:02+00:00 November 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

White Teeth book review Back in December 2000, a few months after Zadie Smith's first novel was published, winning the Whitbread award, nominated for the Orange prize, thrusting her into the media spotlight, The Guardian's Simon Hattenstone interviewed her at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) where she was writer-in-residence. Hattenstone began by informing [...]

Week 72: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours

By | 2018-10-30T11:46:13+00:00 October 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Hours book review I'm not sure it's possible to find any kind of weakness in Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. As a work of fiction, it's as perfect in its way as anything I've ever read. And it proves, if it needed proving, that a book does not have to take up a [...]

Week 70: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

By | 2018-10-20T21:31:00+00:00 October 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man book review Pity the poor reviewers when James Joyce burst onto the scene with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was 1916, and even his most sympathetic critics, while admitting the book was well-written and the dialogue superb, were confused by the [...]

Week 68: Lolita – the erotic novel that isn’t

By | 2018-10-02T15:21:31+00:00 October 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Lolita book review In his otherwise self-serving piece in Harper's, the disgraced American broadcaster John Hockenberry says one thing I agree with entirely: "I feel absolutely certain that Lolita would never be published today". No, it probably wouldn't. This is, after all, a book about a middle-aged man raping an adolescent girl. Several times [...]

Week 67: J. D. Salinger’s Glass menagerie

By | 2018-09-25T10:52:24+00:00 September 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Franny and Zooey book review In his dedication at the beginning of Franny and Zooey, J. D. Salinger appeals to William Shawn, his "editor, mentor, and (heaven help him) closest friend", to accept this "pretty skimpy-looking book". It is, in fact, rather skimpy, being a short story and novella under one cover. Both appeared [...]