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Showing posts from March, 2008


I'm currently reading Ill Seen Ill Said by Samuel Beckett and Solitude by Anthony Storr (psy),as well as The Law of Dreams by Behrens. On my To Read pile I today added to Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson, Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal.

Review - Monster Love, Carol Topolski

I had been interested in reading this since I first came across the snippet of blurb on it. It was an easy read. Which makes it a sure mass market type that would sit easily on the Richard and Judy book club list. Brendan and Linda have both endured childhoods that were incredibly lonely and which turned them into dangerously cut off outsiders. When they come together each feels complete and they are certain they do not want a child to threaten it. But she gets pregnant and end up keeping their daughter locked up in a cage until she eventually dies. It is gruesome. However. Whilst it was an easy read it lacked credibility. Many of the characters and their reactions also lacked credibility. It just didn't sit right on many levels - it lacked a gritty voice. I also felt that Topolski - a UEA graduate - tried to tick too many sociological boxes such as social class and mobility. Then there was sexual abuse. Domestic abuse. Recession and a superficial soupcon of Thatcherism. And we ar…

Stealing books from indies

Here's a story from Paul Constant of The Stranger on book thieves. Very funny, really, especially about the link between comic/graphic novel readers and thieving from independent bookshops. It reminds me of the time when, aged twelve or so, I waited outside a large comic shop in the Phoenix shopping centre, in the university area in Manchester when, all of a sudden, my brothers comes speeding out, with a Spiderman comic in his hand. A second behind him was the guy from behind the counter. He was caught and then arrested! He still reads them!

Not long to go now - 3rd April - A Clockwork Apple

A Clockwork Apple can be ordered from all good bookshops and online bookstores. Amazon here

The Reader - Bernhard Schlink

2008 is continuing to be a bumper year for reading. I have just finished Bernhard Schlink'sThe Reader, and the thoughts it has stirred up have only just begun. I came across this book for the first time about ten years ago, when it was first published/translated. I never got past page one. Why, I do not know. It may have had much to do with the fact that my head was mashed at the time. I think I had then been attracted to the title because it was some vague nod to a post-modernist notion of reading! I began reading it at home in London over the weekend - wanted, at first, to hurry up the treenage boy and mature 36 year old woman in relationship 'phase' and set onto the bigger story. Then I went down to Devon a couple of days ago and continued until finishing it on the platform of Newton Abbot train station.It is a remarkable novel. In one sentence he asks 'to understand or to condemn'? Because one can only cancel the other out. It is not only a story of …