How to write a review

If you’re not famous for something else, if you don’t have some high profile names to spread the word, then you’re largely reliant on reviews, awards, and word-of-mouth. Tim Clare, author and poet, Three Weeks in the Life of a New Book (2019) Before you even get going, read Tim Clare’s blog on the importance Continue Reading

Ten of the Best in 2019

In no particular order: Gingerbread by Helen Oyayemi. A dazzling mix of folklore, pop culture, allusions, absurdism and wit. It is Hansel & Gretel, and then some. My Review. The Ice House by Tim Clare. A rip-roaring speculative adventure with the female hero I wanted to read before she was ever written. My review. Bitter Continue Reading

Fever Dream

by Samanta Schweblin (trans. Megan McDowell) Feverish, Argentinian horror. Lying in a hospital bed in rural Argentina, Amanda is visited by eight-year-old stranger, David. A traumatic and terrifying event has brought her to this point and the precocious David cajoles her into confronting the memory. Amanda is immobile and David explains ‘It’s the worms. You Continue Reading

Fox

by Dubravka Ugresic Narrated as though a series of autobiographical essays, heavily footnoted with real and fictitious references, and foxtrotting across continents, cultures and history, Fox takes on the persona of its namesake to explore storytelling, to challenge the form of the novel, and to comment on human survival. Like the fox, the novel is Continue Reading

The Society of Reluctant Dreamers

by José Eduardo Agualusa, Daniel Hahn (Translator) Surreal political fable. Angolan journalist, Daniel Benchimol, comes across a mango-yellow camera floating in the sea. The camera belongs to Moira, the Cotton-Candy-Hair-Woman. Daniel hasn’t met Moira yet, but he has been dreaming about her. They meet and become involved with a Brazilian neuroscientist creating a machine to Continue Reading

Paradise Rot

by Jenny Hval, Marjam Idriss (Translator) Hyper-sensual, surreal and as intense as bletted fruit. Norwegian student, Jo, arrives in a new country to study biology. The strangeness of her new life becomes stranger still when she finds accommodation in a former brewery. The building is rotten to the core. Through its paper-thin, partial partitions, Jo Continue Reading