Category Archives: fiction

Lincoln in the bardo by George Sanders (Bloomsbury)

“On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.” The Bardo of the title is a Buddhist idea of a transitional state between life and death, a purgatory. I mention it because no one else bothers. There is 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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Octavio’s Journey by Miguel Bonnefoy (Gallic)

“At the port of La Guaira on 20 August 1908, a ship from Trinidad dropped anchor off the Venezuelan coast, unaware that it was offloading a plague which would trouble the country for half a century.”   I abandoned two … Continue reading

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The Keeper of Lost things by Ruth Hogan (Two Roads)

“Charles Bramewell Brockley was travelling alone and without a ticket on the 14.42 from London Bridge to Brighton.” There are different strands to this well received tale. It is a Richard and Judy book of the autumn and a Sunday … Continue reading

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Canongate)

“My suffering left me sad and gloomy” THE problem with coming to this book after the film event is that the image of the boy and the tiger marooned on a boat has already passed into popular culture, an indelible, … Continue reading

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