Category Archives: 101greatreads

The president’s hat by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)

“Daniel Mercier went up the stairs at Gare Saint-Lazare as the crowd surged down.”   THE hat in question – and in the original French edition – belongs to president Francois Mitterand. It is probably just coincidence that two of … Continue reading

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The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Gallic)

“The taxi had dropped her on the corner of the boulevard.” This is very filmable – a French comedy of manners, of mores, of missing identities. A screen version might skip the rich literary (French) references but the compensation of … Continue reading

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The Hungry Empire by Lizzie Collingham (Bodley Head)

“Saturday 18 July 1545 was a fish day on the Mary Rose” I SUSPECT if you went back in time the most difficult thing you would encounter might be the food, an argument given more than a little weight by … Continue reading

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A long and messy business by Rowley Leigh (Unbound)

“I have been doing this sort of thing for quite a while now.” I am not sure anyone should write a cookery book until they reach a certain age. It is quite possible to open a food business with a … Continue reading

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Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Gallic)

“Mama often talked of this house when I was a child, and of its squirrels with particular fondness.” WE are in the grand manner of the novel as literary artifice, a swell of sentences, characters in the rough, an anchored … Continue reading

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Nagasaki by Eric Faye (Gallic)

“Imagine a man in his fifties disappointed to have reached middle age so quickly…” SCANT as a haiku, we open with all the usual everyday details of life scrubbed out by the obsession. S reads a magazine to which he … Continue reading

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Black Sugar by Miguel Bonnefoy (Gallic)

“The dawn light revealed a ship marooned in the canopy of a vast forest”. I IMAGINE a publisher might throw a party for Miguel Bonnefoy’s lesser characters who only get a walk on part in the novels, somewhere Miss Venezuela … Continue reading

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