Truman Capote on his writing techniques and influences

I adore Truman Capote, not least for his magnificent work of literary nonfiction, In Cold Blood, but also because he stands as one of the most flamboyant and acutely observational writers of the twentieth-century. I recently fell in love with Capote … [Read more...]

Which events are making Rob wag his tail for EdBookFest 2012, already?

With news of this year's event programme still fresh, and my heart still pounding like a Spaniard's drum at a Euro '12 football match, I thought I'd take a moment to highlight a few of the events that I'm most excited about in this year's Edinburgh … [Read more...]

EPILOGUE: An ‘eulogy’ to the printed word

[vimeo width="500" height="281"]http://vimeo.com/42599889[/vimeo] In the space of 20 minutes, student Hanah Ryu Chung shows all that is held dear in the heart of the traditional bibliophile. In her documentary entitled EPILOGUE: The Future of … [Read more...]

Robservations: Of checkout blindness…

Conscious of the fact that I want and need to improve my own personal essay writing skills, I'm launching my own weekly essay series, entitled Robservations. In these essays I will endeavour to mainly cover the subject of reading and writing, but in … [Read more...]

Have no fear, the FREAKS are here (with a free story for you, too)

So, what do you get when you cross two hyperactive fiction writers with one dynamic comic book artist who's also a writer? An ingenious new short story collection called FREAKS (The Friday Project), that's what. Caroline Smailes (author of Like … [Read more...]

Who’s going to win the 2012 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award?

With the winner of this year's Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award being announced tomorrow (30th March), I thought I'd take a timely look at the six shortlisted stories, and pass on my thoughts with regards to who I think may take the … [Read more...]

Maupassant Monday: Flaubert on originality

It's a well known fact that Maupassant was a pupil of Flaubert. The French novelist thought the world of young Guy (Flaubert had been a long-term family friend of Guy's parents, and he took the emerging writer under his wing so to speak), and he … [Read more...]

Bookshelf of the Week: Keith Fawkes bookshop

What bibliophile could resist the lure of a bookshop where the weight of books inside is so much that the owner has to take to displaying his stock outside? This is Keith Fawkes bookshop, the subject for this week's Bookshelf of the Week, and it has … [Read more...]

On The Radar: Improving the craft, writer’s notebooks, New York, and European fiction

“On the Radar” provides small incidental rundowns on books which I’ve discovered, but haven’t yet purchased. These are titles which I’ve either added to my wishlist, or am keeping a close eye on with a view to adding them. In addition, these are … [Read more...]

Bookshelf of the Week: Bratislavan Bibliophile

There's not a lot of detail about the subject for this week's Bookshelf of the Week - other than it was taken in Bratislava, by fiction writer Michal Hvorecky - but I don't think it really needs any. With books flowing from wall-to-wall and … [Read more...]