Comic fiction

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I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett: ‘An overlooked genius’

I’ve borrowed that subtitle from Courttia Newland’s introduction to Percival Everett’s novel, first published in the US in 2009. Newland stumbled upon Everett’s Graceland in a second-hand bookshop in London and went back for a copy of Erasure, the book that introduced me to this inventive, smart, very funny novelist. He’s prolific, too, but few …

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Trading Futures by Jim Powell: The unravelling of a betting man

When I first picked up Jim Powell’s new novel I was looking for a bit of light relief after finishing Olivia Laing’s excellent but often harrowing The Lonely City. I thought it might be a much slimmed down version of John Lanchester’s Capital or Justin Cartwright’s Other People’s Money, a post-financial crash novel, which to …

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The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley: A nice slice of Irish black comedy

This one’s a little outside my usual literary purview. It’s a smart little black comedy all wrapped up in a thriller with a bit of a love story thrown in. The title puts you in the picture: Paddy Buckley is an undertaker who has landed himself in deep trouble with Dublin’s chief gangster and is …

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