Fiction Reviews

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Cover image for Tunnelling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson: ‘I don’t think I belong here’  

I spotted Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth on Netgalley, reminding me of how much I enjoyed his novel, Nothing to See Here. It’s a new edition of his first short story collection comprising eleven pieces. Knowing that many of them were written when Wilson was a student, my expectations weren’t particularly …

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Cover image for Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen

Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen (transl. Owen F. Witesman): Fertility for sale

This is one of those instances when, rather than reading the novel by an author sitting unread on my shelf since I can’t remember when, I plumped for their bright, shiny and new book, although bright might not be the best way to describe Sofi Oksanen’s Dog Park. Opening in Helsinki in 2016, Oksanen’s novel …

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Cover image for The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal

The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal (transl. Jennifer Croft): One day in the life

I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay. Perhaps it was simply that it’s a novella or that I’ve not read anything by a Latin American writer for some time. Whatever it was I’m glad I decided to read it. This short piece of fiction reads almost …

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Cover image for My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson: ’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal’  

Lots of brouhaha surrounding Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello which, as I know from experience, doesn’t always lead to a satisfying read. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to accept when I was offered a copy but decided to give it a try given it’s a Harvill Secker title, one of my favourite lists. Set against …

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Cover image for Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: ‘To get the best out of people, you must always treat them well’

It’s a mystery to me why I’ve not read anything by Claire Keegan before given my predilection for Irish writing, particularly as Cathy over at 746Books has spoken so highly of her work. Small Things Like These is the briefest of novellas, a mere 124 pages with a good deal of white space thrown in …

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Cover image for Friendship by Lars Saabye Christensen

Friendship by Lars Saabye Christensen (transl. Don Bartlett): ‘Can everything go back to how it was?’

Lars Saabye Christensen’s new novel is the second instalment of his Echoes of the City trilogy. The first, which gives the series its name, opened in 1947 telling the story of post-war Oslo through the Kristoffersen family. Spanning just over a year, Friendship picks up their story in 1956 with Maj still treasurer of the …

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Cover image for The Survivors by Alex Schulman

The Survivors by Alex Schulman (transl. Rachel Willson-Broyles): ‘Where are my brothers?’

It was its Swedish setting that attracted me to Alex Schulman’s The Survivors which came my way at a time when I was remembering holidays past, including one taken on the Gothenburg archipelago many years ago. It’s about a family who holiday every year at the same isolated lakeside cottage until, one summer, a dramatic …

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