Category Archives: 101greatreads

Winter by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)

“God was dead, to begin with. Romance was dead. Chivalry was dead.” WHEN, finally, we get everyone into the same room, the intimacy starts to crackle. Ali Smith is at her best when she has people talking to each other. … Continue reading

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Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin)

“It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.” FROM the getgo this tale is populated with popular images like the variation on Charles Dickens opening to a Tale of Two Cities above, although here is the … Continue reading

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The disappearance of Adele Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)

“It was an evening like any other at the Restaurant de la Cloche.” YOU are on page 88 of 244 before the character cards you hold start to reveal themselves as a full house of a plot. Here the main … Continue reading

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The accident on the A35 by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)

“There did not appear to be anything remarkable about the accident on the A35” THE pleasing aspect of Graham Macrae Burnet’s writing is that he is an old school story teller. From the first you know you are going to … Continue reading

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A legacy of spies by John Le Carre (Viking)

“What follows is a truthful account, as best as I am able to provide it, of my role in the British deception operation codenamed Windfall..  THIS sequel to the Spy Who Came in from the Cold is probably best read … Continue reading

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The trip to Echo Springs by Olivia Laing (Canongate)

“Here’s a thing. Iowa City, 1973. Two men in a car, a Ford Falcon convertible that’s seen better days. It’s winter, the kind of cold that hurts bones and lungs, that reddens knuckles, makes noses run. If you could, by … Continue reading

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The 7th function of language by Laurent Binet (Harvill Secker)

“Life is not a novel. Or at least you would like to believe so.” How good is this tornado of a novel?  The plot is wildly ambitious, an intellectual version of the da Vinci Code, and mixing real-life characters with … Continue reading

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