William Heinemann

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The Cauliflower® by Nicola Barker: A Marmite novel, unsurprisingly

Even if you’ve not already read one of Nicola Barker’s novels you’ll gather from its cover – and perhaps its title – that you’re going to be in for a wacky ride with The Cauliflower®. It’s born of Barker’s fascination with Sri Ramakrishna – an avatar, widely regarded as having played a leading role in reviving …

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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: A much tastier curate’s egg

I’m not a natural Lauren Groff fan. The writing I most admire is the pared back prose of Colm Tóibin, Kent Haruf and John McGahern – Groff’s is baggy, extravagant, almost baroque at times, yet there’s something about it that sucks me in. I read The Monsters of Templeton when working on a magazine, not …

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The Shore by Sara Taylor: The whole being greater than its parts

I’ve had my eyes on Sara Taylor’s beautifully packaged debut for some time now. It’s not just the gorgeous jacket that attracted me, it’s also the novel’s structure: a set of interconnecting stories that span a century and a half in the lives of the inhabitants of three small islands off the coast of Virginia. …

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The Hundred-year House by Rebecca Makkai: A backward kind of history

I don’t think I’ve read a book in which the prologue is at the back before and in case you’re thinking of correcting me – it isn’t an epilogue. Rebecca Makkai’s novel is a backward looking history of Laurelfield which we first enter as a family home, albeit a somewhat dysfunctional family. You may know …

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Tigerman by Nick Harkaway: A thriller with a sense of humour and a heart of gold

There was a great deal of marketing hoo-ha around Nick Harkaway’s first novel which always makes me wary, so much so that I avoided it but when Angelmaker was published so many readers whose opinions I respect jumped up and down proclaiming it a masterpiece that I though I’d better take a dekko. It’s a …

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