Book review: The Shrinking Man, by Richard Matheson, 1956

You may be more familiar with this novel through the film adaptation (pointlessly retitled the Incredible Shrinking Man, as if the shrinking bit was otherwise credible). It tells the story of Scott Carey, caught in one of those freak nuclear accidents that were almost unavoidable in 1950s America. Instead of imbuing him with superpowers, heContinue reading “Book review: The Shrinking Man, by Richard Matheson, 1956”

Book review: Night Watch, (Discworld 29) by Terry Pratchett, 2002

Night Watch was the 29th novel in Terry Pratchett’s extraordinary life’s work, the Discworld series. The regular publication of Pratchett’s novels formed part of the background pulse of my life (and I am sure of many others), a predictable and reliable event that one looks forward to, like birthdays or Christmas. Although like all the novelsContinue reading “Book review: Night Watch, (Discworld 29) by Terry Pratchett, 2002”

Book review: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, 1962

I am trying to work out if this is a Young Adult book or not, and would appreciate any advice anyone can offer. Because if it is I clearly shouldn’t have read it. Only kidding of course – just pointing out that putting labels on novels is sometimes not helpful. ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes‘Continue reading “Book review: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, 1962”

Book review: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, 1953

As you know, I have been reading a lot of pre-war novels recently. Even in those published more recently, in the 50’s and 60’s, the use of offensive terms to describe black and ethnic minority people and others is common place. Quite often the terms are used casually, not actively intended to offend but asContinue reading “Book review: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, 1953”

Comment: Would you like a reading challenge?

Lots of bloggers use reading challenges as a way of testing themselves – how hard-core are you, that you can read the whole 12 volumes of ‘The Dance to the Music of Time’, or the 4,215 or so pages of Marcel Proust’s ‘Recherche du Temps Perdu’, without tearing your eyes out? Having just finished a 100Continue reading “Comment: Would you like a reading challenge?”

Book review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote, 1958

Enjoying my new-found freedom to read what the hell I like, I decided on a whim to try this wonderfully short (less than 100 pages) novella by the author of ‘In Cold Blood‘. Turned into a memorable film with Audrey Hepburn only three years after it was published, it is one of those books thatContinue reading “Book review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote, 1958”

Book review: Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup, Rosa Prince, 2016

First published in 2015 shortly after Corbyn’s election to the leadership of the Labour Party. read in a paperback edition updated with the events of the leadership challenge, although not the outcome, in 2016. I paid £1 for this clearly unread) paperback edition (in a charity shop. I think I overpaid. It is a classicContinue reading “Book review: Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup, Rosa Prince, 2016”

Book review: Slade House, by David Mitchell, 2015

“A board game co-designed by M. C. Escher on a bender and Stephen King in a fever.” ‘Slade House’ is an unexpectedly old-fashioned ghost story. Mitchell has previously written novels in a variety of styles: ’Cloud Atlas’ was a highly successful experiment in form; ‘The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet’ was a more traditionalContinue reading “Book review: Slade House, by David Mitchell, 2015”

Book review: Ulysses, by James Joyce, 1922

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.” ‘Ulysses’ was a hard read, 933 pages of complex, allusive text, full of echoes, references, challenges and puzzles. Reading this novel passively, without paying full attention, isContinue reading “Book review: Ulysses, by James Joyce, 1922”