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 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 Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)

One of my reasons for exploring the Guardian’s ‘best 100 novels written in English’ list is to try and find some hidden gems – books that I have not come across before that are really worth reading. Poe’s only novel, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket‘ meets only one of these criteria –Continue reading “Book review: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)”

Book review: Nightmare Abbey – Thomas Love Peacock – 1818

bey‘Nightmare Abbey’ is probably as heavy-handed a piece of satire as you will find in the whole of literature. Neither nightmarish – there are none of the traditional characteristic features of gothic fiction – nor set in an abbey, this short novel is partly a thinly disguised portrait of some of the romantic poets ofContinue reading “Book review: Nightmare Abbey – Thomas Love Peacock – 1818”

Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

With 200 years of critical analysis weighing down on any critic or reviewer, what is one to do with a novel such as Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus? Trying to find new insight or interpretation is almost pointless. Such is the nature of the novel that it opens itself to an almost boundless variety ofContinue reading “Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley”