Book review: Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen, 1818

I think Jane Austen is one of our greatest authors. ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ is a masterpiece of controlled writing that has few if any equals, with ‘Emma‘ a close second on any list of classic novels. While ‘Northanger Abbey‘ may not be in the same league, a careful read can uncover many signs of the greatContinue reading “Book review: Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen, 1818”

Book review: The War in the Air, by H G Wells, 1907

I was intending to take a break from Wells, but this novel jumped out at me from the shelves of a second hand bookshop, and as it wasn’t one I had heard of before, let alone read, I thought it worth the £1 investment! It is interesting how the reputations of writers and their worksContinue reading “Book review: The War in the Air, by H G Wells, 1907”

Book review: When William Came, by H H Munro (Saki) 1913

More invasion literature, this time a long short story or novella by a writer more traditionally associated with humour, albeit of the more biting kind. I originally read ‘When William Came’ many years ago, and it is one of those stories that sticks in your head, particularly the final vivid image of resistance and rebellion.Continue reading “Book review: When William Came, by H H Munro (Saki) 1913”

Book review: The Silent Companions, by Laura Purcell, 2017

This was a holiday, ‘I need something to read that isn’t too serious’ read, but to be honest it is not the kind of novel I would usually bother with, even notwithstanding the endorsement of the Zoe Ball Book Club. This is one of those novels where the book cover and blurb tell you almostContinue reading “Book review: The Silent Companions, by Laura Purcell, 2017”

Book review: The Time Machine by H G Wells,1895

Continuing with my Wells-athon, all of which have been quite short novels, I now turn to the hugely influential ‘The Time Machine’. Time travel was not a new concept, but Wells’s novel was one of the earliest on this theme, and established some concepts and principles that remain with us. having said that, I found the behaviourContinue reading “Book review: The Time Machine by H G Wells,1895”

Supplementary: Wells and Welles – when Herbert George met Orson

Following on from my post about H G Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’, I wanted to share with you an anecdote about one of the more interesting aspects of this novel’s “afterlife” and its impact on society. You are probably familiar with the story of Orson Welles’s radio dramatization of the novel, broadcast just beforeContinue reading “Supplementary: Wells and Welles – when Herbert George met Orson”

Book review: War of the Worlds by H G Wells, 1897

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a manContinue reading “Book review: War of the Worlds by H G Wells, 1897”

Book review: The Invisible Man, by H G Wells, 1897

The power to transform the human body using advances in scientific understanding. This was the theme that captured the imagination of many nineteenth century writers, including, among others, Mary Shelley in ‘Frankenstein‘, Robert Louis Stevenson in ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘, and H.G. Wells in ‘The Invisible Man‘. In this late Victorian novella, Wells exploresContinue reading “Book review: The Invisible Man, by H G Wells, 1897”

Book review: The City and the City, by China Meiville, 2009

When reading this review, if you do, please remember my policy on spoilers – which is that I will probably use them. I don’t do so deliberately, I just find it hard to write comprehensively about something I have read without writing about the things that other readers might consider spoilers (bearing in mind of courseContinue reading “Book review: The City and the City, by China Meiville, 2009”