Book review: The Conservationist, by Nadine Gordimer, 1974

The Conservationist is set during the period in which the racist apartheid regime governed South Africa. This deceptively simple but immensely powerful novel is a devastating portrait of a South African businessman who is unable to ‘conserve’ his position in society, and which foreshadows the eventual demise of the apartheid regime. Not for nothing wasContinue reading “Book review: The Conservationist, by Nadine Gordimer, 1974”

Book review: In a Free State by V S Naipaul, 1971

The version of In a Free State which won the 1971 Booker prize consists of a framing narrative and three short stories – “One out of Many,” “Tell Me Who to Kill,” and the title story, “In a Free State.” In his introduction to the edition of the novel that I have just read, NaipaulContinue reading “Book review: In a Free State by V S Naipaul, 1971”

Book review: The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2015

The Buried Giant is an enigmatic, allegorical novel. Do those two features work well together – can an allegory actually be enigmatic, because if it is then is it really an allegory (and if so of what?). These are the questions that I am grappling with in shaping this review, whereas I suspect they mayContinue reading “Book review: The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2015”

Book review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005

Wow. Just wow. I am a bit embarrassed that I have only now just got round to reading what must be one of the most powerful novels written this century. I can completely see why Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 2017. In terms of subtlety, control and lightness of touch this novel ranksContinue reading “Book review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005”

Book Review: A Bend in the River, by V S Naipaul, 1979

‘A Bend in the River’ reads like an updating of Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, taken 60 or 70 years forward into the post-independence period. As with ‘Heart of Darkness’, ‘A Bend’ is set in an unnamed African country in the interior of the continent. The setting is not the only similarity between these books –Continue reading “Book Review: A Bend in the River, by V S Naipaul, 1979”