Book review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

“Go Set a Watchman” (and what a great title by the way) was an early, rejected draft of the story that was to eventually become “To Kill a Mockingbird” (or “that Mockingjay book” as overheard in Waterstones recently. In Watchman, 26 year-old Scout returns from New York to spend time with her family in Maycomb, Alabama. TheContinue reading “Book review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee”

Book review: Mud, Blood, and Poppycock by Gordon Corrigan

I am going to assume that Gordon Corrigan is a nice man. In this 2003 Cassell edition of Mud, Blood, and Poppycock he shares with us that he is married and a church-goer, so this is a reasonable assumption. I genuinely do not want to spend ages telling you why this book is terrible –Continue reading “Book review: Mud, Blood, and Poppycock by Gordon Corrigan”

Supplementary: Brideshead Revisited (2) – on the description of marital and extra-marital sex

There are some interesting descriptions of sex in Brideshead. Waugh avoids any explicit reference to gay sex, but he is slightly more comfortable with marital affairs, taking a quick peek into the bedroom. When Charles returns from his two-year long trip to South America, his reaction to meeting his wife could not be more off-handContinue reading “Supplementary: Brideshead Revisited (2) – on the description of marital and extra-marital sex”

Book review: Book review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, 1946

Why do I write this blog? Thinking about it there are four principal reasons, with one bonus justification. To keep a record of what I read. Simple as that – just to look back and see what I have read over 12-24 months is interesting, as my appetite for classic fiction wanes and is replacedContinue reading “Book review: Book review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, 1946”

Book review: The Information, by Martin Amis

Martin Amis wrote the “at pains to be offensive” “Lionel Asbo”. So why on earth would I read “The Information”? My excuses are, to be honest, slim. I originally read this novel when it was first published, in 1995. I had been impressed by the griminess of “London Fields”, and thought Amis was a writerContinue reading “Book review: The Information, by Martin Amis”

Book review: Trench Warfare 1914-1918 – The Live and Live System, by Tony Ashworth

I do read some interesting books don’t I? This is one of the Pan Military History series, originally published in 1980 (that date is important by the way, and I will come back to it) and was a bit dry to be honest. It’s more of a reference book than a page-turner. Which was aContinue reading “Book review: Trench Warfare 1914-1918 – The Live and Live System, by Tony Ashworth”

Book review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum In my notes on “The Shadow of the Wind” I was harsh, some might say brutally so, towards the translator. So I wanted to open this review by tipping my hat to Alfred Birnbaum. This must have been a fantastically difficult novel to translate. I’ll come to whyContinue reading “Book review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami”