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”

Book review: The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, 1915

This is the novel for which the phrase “what a load of old tosh!” was invented. Buchan, in a short introduction, described it as coming from a genre “which we know as the ‘shocker’ – the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible”. This is aContinue reading “Book review: The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, 1915”

Book review: The Innocent by Ian McEwan

McEwan is always strong when it comes to evoking a particular time and place, whether it be early 1960’s in “On Chesil Beach”, the Dunkirk evacuation (amongst others) in “Atonement”, or early 1970’s MI5 in “Sweet Tooth”, just to mention a few. The thing that jumps out from that short list for me is howContinue reading “Book review: The Innocent by Ian McEwan”

Book review: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Read in the Jonathan Cape hardback first edition. Any new novel by McEwan is something of an event, and this is no exception. Sweet Tooth is an ambitious novel. Set in the early 1970’s, and rich with period material, the story follows a young woman, Serena Frome, in her first few months working for MI5. SweetContinue reading “Book review: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan”