Book review: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

by Ten years ago the number of non-fiction books I read in a year could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Biographies in particular were a subject of scorn or impatience – arrogantly I argued that no biography had ever appeared on the syllabus of a Literature degree course. I still read biogsContinue reading “Book review: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson”

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes

Arthur and George   This blog was never intended as a long list of books I have enjoyed. It is a record of my impressions of the books I read in 2012, good bad and indifferent. This is the first occasion I have written on this blog about a novel I haven’t really enjoyed, andContinue reading “Arthur and George by Julian Barnes”

Let’s play a game…..

The name of the game is “Guess the book”. The book I am thinking of was written by a female novelist, but published in such a way as to disguise her gender. It features an orphan who up to the age of 11 lives with relatives who treat them badly, and is bullied by aContinue reading “Let’s play a game…..”

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm

OK, last entry on Cold Comfort for now,although to be fair it has been an obsession for more years than I care to remember, and this writing has a certain cathartic/therapeutic role. “Christmas” it needs to be said straight away is a short story – not even that really, more a portrait. It runs to less thanContinue reading “Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm”

Henry V and George of the Jungle

  One of my proudest moments as a parent came, bizarrely, during a viewing of the otherwise excrable George of the Jungle 2 – note George of the Jungle 2, not the Brendan Fraser production, which was bad enough. At the end of GotJ2 nasty developers are planning to bulldoze the jungle, and only ourContinue reading “Henry V and George of the Jungle”

Starkadder Mad

More on Cold Comfort – not that I am obsesssed or anything. The original novel, Stella Gibbons’s first, was published in the early 1930’s. It has a wonderful period feel – although it is set a few years in the future, and there are glimpses of how the world has changed, with video phones andContinue reading “Starkadder Mad”

Cold Comfort Farm – a classic

I have a confession to make – I love Cold Comfort Farm so much that I/we named my firstborn after two of the principal characters. I figured this would at least give him a great conversation opener when he finally gets interested in girls. CCF is in my top three works of fiction of allContinue reading “Cold Comfort Farm – a classic”

The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde

Today I finished the Well of Lost Plots, the third in the Thursday Next series. This is great fun – Fforde is respectful towards his far ranging sources, the central character is a strong resourceful woman and he throws ideas around with an energy that has drawn justifiable comparisons with Douglas Adams. Justifiable but weContinue reading “The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde”