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Week 42: The “other” Decline and Fall

By | 2018-09-08T01:36:18+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh book review This time last year BBC 2 brought to the screen a "ghastly gaggle of braying Oxford toffs", as one reviewer put it, in a delightfully-cast three-part adaptation of Decline and Fall, Evelyn Waugh's 1928 satire on the great and the good of England, between the wars. [...]

Week 41: 10 Reasons NOT to read Infinite Jest

By | 2018-09-08T01:46:36+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|

10 Reasons NOT to Read Infinite Jest It’s never a good sign, it seems to me, when you’d rather unload the dishwasher than continue reading a particular book. Or make that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off. Or cut your toenails. Which, by the way, happens a lot in Infinite Jest, the 1996 novel [...]

Week 40: The Children’s Book

By | 2018-09-08T02:00:13+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Review of The Children's Book It has been said of A S Byatt that she does not wear her learning lightly. I'd go further: she has a tendency to club you over the head with it. The Children's Book (2009) is a bulging, behemoth of a book which frequently reads like an encyclopedia. There were [...]

Week 39: The Gathering

By | 2018-09-08T02:06:19+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Gathering Book Review Good writers don't let you off easy. They provide no pat answers - there's no riding off together into the sunset as the orchestral music swells in the background. Good writers unsettle you. They leave you with questions. They disturb your assumptions, shake you out of your comfort zone. They [...]

Week 37: Iris Murdoch’s Severed Head

By | 2018-09-08T02:14:16+00:00 February 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Severed Head book review Martin Lynch-Gibbon is a lucky man. He has it all - a comfortable, tastefully decorated home; a gracious, loving wife whose beauty is only just beginning to fade, and a mistress practically young enough to be his daughter. There is no question of him leaving his wife, and his [...]

Week 36: Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon

By | 2018-09-08T02:20:55+00:00 February 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Maltese Falcon book review In 1934, four years after The Maltese Falcon was published, Dashiell Hammett wrote this of his anti-heroic, hard-boiled detective, Sam Spade: "He is a dream man in the sense that he is what most of the private detectives I worked with would liked to have been and quite a [...]

Week 34: The Postman Always Rings Twice

By | 2018-09-08T02:31:08+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Postman Always Rings Twice book review When I was in my teens I read a lot. This was partly because I had always read a lot, and partly because I had a lot of time on my hands, being neither athletically inclined nor socially in demand. For me, there were two kinds of [...]