Fiction Reviews

If you would prefer a searchable / sortable linear index for this category you can find one here

Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (transl. Carol Brown Janeway) Lost in Translation

When I was a reviews editor I tried my best to make sure that translators were credited in the bibliographic information that accompanies reviews. It didn’t always work: sometimes space was tight and the sub-editors had to cut the copy but sometimes the fact that it was a translated work was not immediately apparent. Perhaps …

Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (transl. Carol Brown Janeway) Lost in Translation Read More »

Cover image

A Measure to Marker Drift by Alexander Maksik: Makes you thank your lucky stars

Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift is a novel of such intensity that I had to put it down every so often just to catch my breath and anchor myself in my own comfortable world. Written in lyrical often dreamlike prose, it takes us into the mind of Jacqueline who has fled the rebel …

A Measure to Marker Drift by Alexander Maksik: Makes you thank your lucky stars Read More »

Cover image

Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda: More The Killing than Karin Slaughter

Visitation Street opens in a steamy Brooklyn heat wave. Two fifteen year-old-girls decide to escape their stultifying boredom, floating off into the bay’s greasy waters on a bright pink inflatable raft watched by two young men. Only one girl returns, washed up under the pier and in bad shape. The rest of the novel explores …

Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda: More The Killing than Karin Slaughter Read More »

Cover image

Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Hard to beat the satisfaction of reading a book you’ve been looking forward to for months and finding it to be even better than your sky high expectations. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore ever since I spotted it in Atlantic’s catalogue way back in January. Set in the near future, it playfully …

Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Satisfaction Guaranteed Read More »

Cover image

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan: A brightly polished gem

J. Courtney Sullivan writes the kind of long involving books into which you can comfortably sink, surfacing now and again for a cup of tea or whatever you fancy. I thoroughly enjoyed her previous novel, Maine; intelligently written and completely absorbing. The Engagements is structured around the idea of the engagement ring, a ‘tradition’ apparently …

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan: A brightly polished gem Read More »

The Measures Between Us by Ethan Hauser: An impressive, eloquently melancholy novel

After a disappointing start, it seems I’m back on a reading roll this month – What in God’s Name, Lamb, The Small Hours, The Last Banquet and now, Ethan Hauser’s The Measures Between Us, have all hit the spot. Set against the backdrop of a storm-hit small town just outside Boston, it opens with a …

The Measures Between Us by Ethan Hauser: An impressive, eloquently melancholy novel Read More »

Cover image

White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby and The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood: Two Lip Smacking Novels

Purely coincidentally, I’ve been reading N. M. Kelby’s White Truffles in Winter about the last days of the celebrated chef Escoffier alongside Jonathan Grimwood’s The Last Banquet, set in pre-Revolutionary France. Both are about Frenchmen with a passion for food who love and admire women, both have recipes scattered through them and both men are …

White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby and The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood: Two Lip Smacking Novels Read More »

Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam: An unsettling and brilliant debut

Reading in the garden after the two or three washouts which passed as summers over the last couple of years feels like being on holiday. It’s not just the glorious sunshine it’s the absence of distraction allowing you to immerse yourself in whatever you’re reading. I’ve just finished Bonnie Nadzam’s Lamb, much of it read …

Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam: An unsettling and brilliant debut Read More »