Book review: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

This blog was originally going to be about that small sub-set of books that I found offensive, but re-reading parts of this particular novel reminded me just how objectionable I found it, and how puzzled I was that I seemed to be the only person who has a problem with it. Google any combination ofContinue reading “Book review: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind”

Supplementary: further thoughts on Frankenstein

In this post I would like to explore the possibility that the monster was the creation of Dr Frankenstein’s ego or unconscious, and that the crimes in the novel were committed by the good doctor himself. Furthermore I would like to suggest that the source of this psychosis is his fear of his own sexuality.Continue reading “Supplementary: further thoughts on Frankenstein”

Book review: Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

“Pale Fire” is a complex, multi-layered post modernist novel – but for goodness sake don’t let that put you off! At the heart of this novel is an extraordinary romp – and that’s not a word you expect to see used to describe a modern novel. The structure of the novel is worth spending aContinue reading “Book review: Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov”

Book review: Savage Continent by Keith Lowe

This survey of post war Europe is a natural sequel in terms of my reading to Ian Kershaw’s “The End”, reviewed here last month. “The End” described and explained the utter destruction of much of central Europe at the end of the Second World War – this books follows on by describing some of the consequencesContinue reading “Book review: Savage Continent by Keith Lowe”

Book review: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – 1925

What is this? – not “this” the Great Gatsby, but this, the words I am writing? It is not a review – despite the heading of this blog you can’t really review a book published 90 years ago, not one which has attracted the wealth and weight of critical comment that much loved novels suchContinue reading “Book review: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – 1925”

Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

With 200 years of critical analysis weighing down on any critic or reviewer, what is one to do with a novel such as Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus? Trying to find new insight or interpretation is almost pointless. Such is the nature of the novel that it opens itself to an almost boundless variety ofContinue reading “Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley”

Comment: Christmas Books – Various

Desperate times require desperate measures, and there are few so desperate as Christmas shoppers in the throes of a guilt induced buying frenzy. The Christmas book market caters for this community, and while I have no intention of reviewing my Christmas book consumption this holiday, for the record I have scanned the pages of: VizContinue reading “Comment: Christmas Books – Various”

Book review: Is Heathcliff a Murderer? – Puzzles in 19th Century fiction by John Sutherland

This book is a series of 34 short and not quite so short essays looking at “anomalies, enigmas and mysteries” in 19th century fiction. The definition of “puzzle” is draw deliberately loosely. Some are genuine questions that would occur to any reader – how does Jane Eyre get Mr Rochester’s mysterious “celestial” message at the end ofContinue reading “Book review: Is Heathcliff a Murderer? – Puzzles in 19th Century fiction by John Sutherland”

Book review: Shattered Hourglass – Day by Day Armageddon – J L Bourne

 Shattered Hourglass is the third in the Day by Day Armageddon series. Zombie novels are very much a niche genre, with carefully prescribed rules. The first novel in this series worked within these conventions, but took a fresh approach. Written in diary format from the perspective of a military man surviving the outbreak one dayContinue reading “Book review: Shattered Hourglass – Day by Day Armageddon – J L Bourne”

Comment: Books I read in 2012 but did not blog about.

How very post-modern of me – a blog about things I didn’t blog about! The intention was always to write about what I read, but in 2012 I made a few exceptions – either I struggled to formulate anything coherent about the books, or er, … Crime and Punishment. Yes I did really read thisContinue reading “Comment: Books I read in 2012 but did not blog about.”