Constellation of Genius: Agatha Christie’s THE SECRET ADVERSARY

Given how well read I like to think I am, it may come as a shock to some to hear that I’ve never once wandered the literary landscape of Agatha Christie (Gasp! Horror!). Sure, I know well enough of her literary output but I’ve never read any of her … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

In a Nutshell: Dark Lies the Island is easily as good as Barry's debut collection There Are Little Kingdoms, and in some respects - mainly in terms of maturity - it's even better. I may have been worried going into this one thinking that I may have … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Various Authors

In a Nutshell: I find it difficult to comprehend that this is a debut anthology from a new publisher; a publisher who not so long ago was nothing more than a 'simple' book blogger. Rod Redman has put together a short story anthology here that's … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti

In a Nutshell: While this may be the shortest novel that Niccolò Ammaniti has published to date, it's no less powerful than any of his other works of fiction. Containing all of the signature themes that have made Ammaniti the stand out storyteller … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz

In a Nutshell: A wonderfully engaging novel from Amos Oz, which explores to some depth the theme of loss and longing, and the eternal search to find that which cannot be found. If you're not a fan of the short form or the ambiguous novel then it … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky

In a Nutshell: Finally, a coffee table book that's worth its weight in gold. Well written and beautifully presented, Atlas of Remote Islands is a perfect companion for anyone wishing to escape their dreary surroundings to indulge in a spot of remote … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry

In a Nutshell: If you're looking for a sharp, witty and entertaining look at the more marginal side of life on the Emerald Isle, then you won't go far wrong in picking up this collection. With There Are Little Kingdoms Kevin Barry shows himself to be … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol. 3

In a Nutshell: Coming with content that always feels fresh and original, this third offering from the Bristol Short Story Prize is about as close to the perfect short story anthology as it's likely to get. There really is something in here for … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy

In a Nutshell: The Secret Lives of People in Love is one of the most deeply absorbing and touching story collections I've ever read. Van Booy has an incredible ability to find beauty and insight in almost anything, and the way in which he turns those … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: The Birth Machine by Elizabeth Baines

In a Nutshell: A good novel but one, due to the subject matter, that is probably best appreciated by a female audience. Some willpower is needed to stick both with the complexity of an ever increasingly abstract narrative, and a ceaseless bombardment … [Read more...]