Posted on 24th May 2012

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Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke

It’s been noted that an inherent menace of recreational cannabis use (referred to in this book solely as ‘smoke’) is—far less than with drugs of a higher grading—exactly our negligence of it having menacing qualities at all. What paradoxically makes it so threatening is its very ubiquity in society, our general flippancy towards its distribution and intake. Coupled with this is a disregard for the…

Posted on 22nd May 2012

Posted by Sophie

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Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke

‘The tease of a title gradually resolves itself as the delightful comedy of drug-running in rural England plays out. The cartel meets Ambridge.’ John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL Chair, 2012 Judging Panel Synopsis: When young Elliot gets a labourer’s job at Mr Evans’s after being sacked from a…

Posted on 16th April 2012

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The Pink Hotel

The cover of the book is probably an attempt to convey the kitschy complex glamour of Los Angeles, but comes off chicklit; the positive cover copy, from Helen Dunmore and Fay Weldon, actually refer to Anna Stothard’s first novel, Isabel and Rocco, published nearly a decade ago. The Pink Hotel had not received the attention…

Posted on 25th July 2011

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The Water Theatre

In an interview concurrent with the release of The Water Theatre, Lindsay Clarke claims that ‘the unconscious mind is the seabed of the imagination’. This is certainly true for his characters, who dream relentless, lurid dreams that are often more telling than their dialogue, and the book has an unfaltering mystic and hallucinatory undercurrent running…

Posted on 19th May 2011

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The Water Theatre

‘Clarke’s family saga is a book with enormous sweep: with a story that takes us from working class Yorkshire to cultured Umbria, and to a newly independent West African state.’ Fiction Uncovered Judges 2011 Synposis: As war-reporter Martin Crowther arrives in Umbria, still raw from a recent assignment in Africa, and from a failing…

Posted on 19th May 2011

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Helping readers to rediscover Lindsay Clarke

The Water Theatre was sent to me by Lindsay Clarke’s agent in February 2010. The book was originally called Sun at Midnight, and it was presented to me as “a powerful story of loyalty and loss, of betrayal and reconciliation”. It was described as partly being set in Italy, and I must admit this put…