Posted on 23rd June 2015

Posted by Sophie

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A Man Lies Dreaming

“With this novel Lavie Tidhar mixes hardboiled noir, dystopia and magical realism to create a dark and thought provoking novel, sure to compel the reader whilst making them face the darker sides of humanity. It is a book about war, power, politics and religion whilst being a page turning thriller which gives a new and…

Posted on 23rd June 2015

Posted by Sophie

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Animals

“A wise and very funny novel of two best friends, and the other companion in their lives – booze. Unsworth writes of this manic duo with a gritty, unsentimental realism overlaid with a sharp, intelligent style, and real empathy for her subjects. A novel that examines the values – and perils – of friendship and…

Posted on 16th July 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Lolito

In 2014, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize worked with the Regional Literature Development Agencies to find reading groups across the UK to read the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize-winning titles. Lolito by Ben Brooks was read by the Books Actually Book Group from Brighton and below are reviews from its reading group members.  As the title readily…

Posted on 19th June 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Lolito

“Sometimes bleak, sometimes funny, and always relevant, Ben Brooks writes about the place where teenage angst, the Internet, relationships and modern family life intersect, and does so with wit, charm and one of the freshest new fiction voices in years.” Greg Eden, Online Content and Social Media Manager, Waterstones Synopsis: She’s online. ‘I booked a…

Posted on 9th June 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Lolito

Alice has been Etgar’s girlfriend for two years, which is nearly 20% of his whole 15-year-old life, which is why Ben Brooks’ funny, disgusting, uplifting Lolito opens with his hero feeling utterly bereft that Alice is spending this school break in Antigua, with her father, and not ‘motionless in her bed, watching CSI: New York and eating cubes of…

Posted on 15th May 2013

Posted by Sophie

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The Heart Broke In

James Meek is one of those perennially praised, never quite garlanded writers who must get thoroughly bored of reading how awful it is that he’s not better known and more successful. The Heart Broke In, his fifth novel, like those that came before, is built on the solid foundations of deeply satisfying plotting and precision-tooled prose….

Posted on 18th June 2012

Posted by Sophie

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Go To Sleep

In Go To Sleep, Helen Walsh deals unflinchingly with post-natal depression and sleep deprivation in lucid and convincing prose that presents the shock of new motherhood with laudable clear-sightedness. Yet, despite the honesty and starkness with which Walsh depicts the fraught interaction between mother and baby, what we are really left with is a bold,…

Posted on 24th May 2012

Posted by Sophie

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This is Life & You Deserve Nothing

Paris, as a fictional setting, is now more than a popular novelistic trope: the city’s excessively mythicized status has rendered it an all-purpose ingredient, supplying whichever quality a story might require. An atmosphere of romance, whimsy, hipness or intellectual profundity is magically heightened by a Parisian backdrop, especially when, overtly or otherwise, the author summons…

Posted on 22nd May 2012

Posted by Sam

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This is Life

‘Using his trademark dark humour Dan Rhodes draws his protagonist Aurélie Renard, and the reader, deep into the heart of the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Rhodes explores art, politics and modern life, with hilarious and enlightening results.’ Jasper Sutcliffe, Head of Buying, Foyles Group 2012 Judging Panel Synopsis: In Paris, art student…

Posted on 11th October 2011

Posted by Sophie

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Show Me the Sky

Nicholas Hogg’s assured debut novel is not so much about the destination of its characters as it is about their journeys. Although this seems like the most facile of clichés, it is also the thread that ties four overlapping but powerfully distinct experiences together. Physical and spiritual odysseys, unfalteringly portrayed, take on a more touching…