Book review: The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, 1855

‘The Warden’ tells the story of a chapter in the life of Mr Septimus Harding, warden of Hiram’s Hospital and precentor of Barchester cathedral. (Readers requiring an explanation of the term ‘precentor’ may already be getting the impression that they are not the target audience for this novel). An introduction of this kind would normallyContinue reading “Book review: The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, 1855”

Book review: Kim, by Rudyard Kipling, 1901

Many of the classic novels I have been reading in recent weeks have been reasonably familiar to me. often this is through film or television adaptations, or from having read versions or parts of the novel decades ago. ‘Kim’ is an exception to that general rule – although I had heard of the novel, IContinue reading “Book review: Kim, by Rudyard Kipling, 1901”

Book review: Money – a suicide note – Martin Amis – 1980

‘Money’ was written in the early 1980’s, and published in 1984. This was the highpoint of Thatcherism, greed is good, and ‘Money’ represents one of the high artistic points of that period. This isn’t saying much, because while everyone else in the Arts at the time was pointing out with different degrees of vehemence thatContinue reading “Book review: Money – a suicide note – Martin Amis – 1980”

Book review: The Sign of the Four – Conan Doyle – 1890

Or, if you prefer, ‘The Sign of Four’, which is I think the better known version of this novel’s title. There is quite a significant difference between the former – meaning a sign which collectively represents four people – and the latter, which means simply 4. But as the sign itself plays no real partContinue reading “Book review: The Sign of the Four – Conan Doyle – 1890”

Book review: The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane – 1889

I am not sure whether this is really a novel in the traditional sense of the word. It’s very short – about 125 pages – and there is very little plot or characterisation. The events of the novel, (a term I will retain for convenience’ sake), take place over a couple of days during theContinue reading “Book review: The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane – 1889”

Book review: Three Men in a Boat (not to mention the dog) – Jerome K Jerome – 1889

Mildly amusing. Whimsical. Harmless  These are the words that come to mind when I reflect on the experience of reading this Victorian “classic”. For some reason, while many comic novels age appallingly, Three Men in a Boat seems bullet-proof against the passage of time. It is feather-light – there is no plot to speak of,Continue reading “Book review: Three Men in a Boat (not to mention the dog) – Jerome K Jerome – 1889”

Supplementary: A Passage to India – E.M.Forster (1924) (2)

This blog entry follows on from the previous review of A Passage to India, and focuses on the novel’s opening paragraph. This kind of detailed, deep dive analysis of text is a different approach to the reviews I have been writing over the last couple of weeks. “Except for the Marabar caves – and theyContinue reading “Supplementary: A Passage to India – E.M.Forster (1924) (2)”