Posted on 21st July 2014

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Marry Me

If there’s a lesson to be gleaned from Dan Rhodes’ Marry Me, it’s a Wildean one: mutual misunderstanding is the key to a lasting marriage. This tongue-in-cheek book, a droll collection of 80-odd comic vignettes, skewers dewy-eyed perceptions of marital bliss, offering dysfunctional tale after dysfunctional tale in which hearts are broken, egos are shattered,…

Posted on 15th October 2013

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Seven Days to Tell You

Ruby Soames manages to marry tender subject matter with a remarkably compelling plot in Seven Days to Tell You, rendering it the sort of book that begs to be read under certain conditions – an engagement-free Sunday would do, ideally a rainy one accompanied by few interruptions and copious mugs of tea. The novel opens…

Posted on 19th June 2013

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

The Outline of Love

The Outline of Love is a bildungsroman with a mythic twist. Dramatic and patently allegorical, the novel charts the rousing adventures and missteps of Persephone Triebold, who departs bucolic life in the Highlands for her first year of university in glittering, daunting, mesmeric London. Like her Greek goddess eponym, Persephone is both tempted by and…

Posted on 19th September 2012

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Chattering

Astute and starkly visceral, Chattering marks American visual artist Louise Stern’s debut into the literary scene with a collection of vivid tales depicting the various escapades, trials and tribulations of assorted young adults across the globe. Her motley characters roam from lonely riverside haunts in London to sun-kissed Brazilian beaches and gritty back-alley clubs in…

Posted on 1st June 2012

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , ,

My Former Heart

My Former Heart is Cressida Connolly’s first foray into full-length fiction, though her steady narrative and poised voice betray nothing of her newness to the form. Alluringly lyrical, the novel flits between three generations of women, portraying in exquisite detail the symphony of exultations and heartbreaks that accompanies each character’s transition into womanhood. Connolly takes…

Posted on 24th May 2012

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , ,

Crushed Mexican Spiders

That Tibor Fischer’s latest offering, Crushed Mexican Spiders, is the product of a crowd-funded publishing platform is a testament to the public vote of confidence in the writer who, despite garnering his initial success through a traditional publishing forum, remains only too aware of the arbitrary nature of success in the book industry. “Why one book…

Posted on 8th November 2011

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , , ,

Something Beginning With…

A nose through Sarah Salway’s bibliography reveals the recently appointed Canterbury Laureate’s penchant for concise form. She’s published two books of short stories, the second a joint effort with Lynne Rees featuring 300 pieces of precisely 300 words each; her publishing company Speechbubble Books, co-founded with friend and colleague Catherine Smith, is devoted to providing…

Posted on 9th August 2011

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , , ,

Nimrod’s Shadow

In a decade when it’s become somewhat commonplace to divide a novel between several converging storylines, Chris Paling’s latest work stands out as one that manages to eschew quiet resignation to this modish category of fiction. Indeed, despite adhering quite faithfully to many of the facets that typify the trend, including time periods chosen to…

Posted on 18th May 2011

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , ,

Eating Air

“[Art] is one way of having a quarrel with the world,” opines the nameless narrator of Eating Air, Pauline Melville’s third literary offering since her prize-winning debut novel Shape-Shifter. “Art is what those of us do who are too frightened to be terrorists.” Various dramatic aphorisms of the like, with a theatricality that appears to emanate naturally…