Book review: Carpe Jugulum (Discworld 23) by Terry Pratchett, 1998

We have, it has to be admitted, been here before. Lancre, to be specific, the mountain home of Terry Pratchett’s wonderful witches, the awesome Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick, and Agnes Nitt. (And yes, that’s four witches, which is one too many, and a bit of a problem). Magrat, recently married to King Verence,Continue reading “Book review: Carpe Jugulum (Discworld 23) by Terry Pratchett, 1998”

Book review: The Last Continent (Discworld 22) by Terry Pratchett, 1998

Discworld novels are often divided into a number of sub-categories – the Watch, Witches, Death, and so on. Of these by far the weakest group are those featuring Rincewind, the world’s worst wizzard, and within that group, I am sorry to say, The Last Continent is the least interesting and entertaining. The novel can’t reallyContinue reading “Book review: The Last Continent (Discworld 22) by Terry Pratchett, 1998”

Supplemental: Authenticity in literature with reference to Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Gate of Angels

Part of the unwritten contract between authors and their readers is that we agree to suspend our scepticism for the duration of the novel. We know we are being told a story, that the events described didn’t ‘really’ happen and the characters never lived, but nevertheless we put our disbelief to the backs of ourContinue reading “Supplemental: Authenticity in literature with reference to Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Gate of Angels”

Book review: Life of Pi, by Yann Mantel, 2001

Life of Pi is that rare beast, a post-modernist novel of ideas that is also a wonderful adventure story. In this 2002 Booker prize winning novel Mantel plays with ideas about narrative and the nature of the novel while at the same time keeping the reader fully engaged with an exciting tale of a youngContinue reading “Book review: Life of Pi, by Yann Mantel, 2001”

Book review: A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf, 1928

A Room of One’s Own is Virginia Woolf’s celebrated essay on the position of women in society. In this important landmark text in feminist writing, Woolf confronts the central challenges facing women in Britain in the 1920’s, barely a decade after they were first legally entitled to vote in general elections. While ostensibly about the problemsContinue reading “Book review: A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf, 1928”

Book review: Jingo (Discworld 21) by Terry Pratchett, 1997

‘Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.’ Jingo combines two of Sir Terry’s favourite topics – social commentary, in this case on nationalism, and the men, women and other species of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. It isContinue reading “Book review: Jingo (Discworld 21) by Terry Pratchett, 1997”

Book review: Offshore, by Penelope Fitzgerald, 1979

It was the river’s most elusive hour, when darkness lifts off darkness, and from one minute to another the shadows declare themselves as houses or as craft at anchor. Well, it can’t be said that I haven’t given Penelope Fitzgerald’s fair crack of the whip. This, the third novel of hers I have now read,Continue reading “Book review: Offshore, by Penelope Fitzgerald, 1979”