Book review: His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet, 2015

Subtitled Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae (NB contains lots of spoilers) The Guardian described this novel as “a slippery creature indeed”. Having read this and some other reviews, I was expecting a modernist novel, in which the unreliable narration leaves the reader to piece together their own version of what ‘really happened’.Continue reading “Book review: His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet, 2015”

Book review: Pure Juliet, by Stella Gibbons, 2016

‘Pure Juliet’ tells the story of Juliet Slater, a working class girl from London, who just happens to be a mathematical genius. It is one of an increasingly popular genre, the lost novel. Originally written by Stella Gibbons in the 1970’s, it was not published in her lifetime (she died in 1989) but was recentlyContinue reading “Book review: Pure Juliet, by Stella Gibbons, 2016”

Book review: On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, 1957

“What’ll we do? What’ll we do? Let’s move”. “I just won’t sleep,” I decided. There were so many other interesting things to do.” If you had to summarise this novel in two quotes, there you are! ‘On the Road’ tells the breathless story of the adventures of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, “two broken downContinue reading “Book review: On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, 1957”

Book review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, 1953

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?” Bradbury’s seminal dystopian novel is one of the key texts of the McCarthyite era in post-war America. Bradbury describes a world in many ways very much like his own, but where firemen burn books,Continue reading “Book review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, 1953”

Supplementary: Clothing in ‘Vanity Fair’

Generally, Thackeray does not use clothing to illustrate character to any great extent in ‘Vanity Fair’. He will often tell us someone is wearing ‘smart’ or ‘worn’ or ‘faded’ clothes, without providing any further detail. But I noticed a couple of exceptions to this approach that caught my attention, one example relating to Amelia Sedley,Continue reading “Supplementary: Clothing in ‘Vanity Fair’”

Book review: Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848

“Vanity Fair is a very vain, wicked, foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs and falsenesses and pretensions.” Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’ draws its name from ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’. It was published in nineteen monthly instalments, and as with many Victorian novels shows some evidence of padding – the scenes in continental Europe at theContinue reading “Book review: Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848”