The literary world has been in uproar – at least, the little corner of it that I monitor – concerning the controversial decision to at first remove, and then only allow reading with parental permission, To Kill a Mockingbird from a Mississippi school curriculum. Nice one, America! Great choices being made this year! I’m a lover of To… Read More Silencing the Mockingbird?
Walking past a charity bookshop without buying anything is not one of my skills. I have no self-restraint, and will probably regret spending so much money on books once I’m living away from home as a penniless student, eating cereal for every meal and without the money to turn the heating on. The Eye in… Read More Book Haul!
Having read American Pyscho, I thought that I’d be able to handle blood and gore and dismembered prostitutes. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I wouldn’t advise you to read this one if you’ve got a weak stomach. I can barely watch the gory bits of Doc Martin, so reading about how someone’s eyes get gouged out of their living body wasn’t quite… Read More I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
I thought that I’d be able to handle Joyce. I’m a big fan of modernist texts, and as the father of them, I’d assumed that Joyce’s reputation was simply over-exaggerated. But at least I understand what it feels like to swim, half-blind, through a collection of short stories. Everyone knows that Ulysses is the big one, the… Read More Dubliners by James Joyce
I Am Pilgrim is yet another book bought to fulfil the ‘3 for a pound’ offer at a car boot sale. I’d vaguely heard of it around, and I now realise that this ‘around’ is my English teacher’s cupboard. Nestled in among his collection of novels, poetry anthologies, Random Bits of Crap and novelty hats is… Read More Judging a Book by its Cover: I Am Pilgrim
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Or its blurb. And I have learnt my lesson, because in my opinion, both the blurb and the cover of this novel are utterly misleading. Luckily, it’s a decent book, not the lukewarm of petty domestic dissatisfaction that I was expecting. I only… Read More The Green Road by Anne Enright
Yes, I know that I’m late on this Booker bandwagon, considering that this novel won the award back in 1997. I wasn’t even a thought at this point, let alone a foetus. But this is a very, very good book indeed. Set in India, Roy’s writing is vivid and colourful, combining razor-sharp images of this rural town with… Read More The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy