Tag: literary fiction

A review of The Book by Jessica Bell

The Book reads very quickly. This is not just because it’s only 154 pages of reasonably spaced text, but also because Bonnie’s voice drives the story along as we try to understand, from her perspective, the multiple relationships that surround her…

A review of Embassytown by China Miéville

Embassytown may start like a fun, inventive good novel, but by the time you reach the 300th or so page, it become clear that this is indeed a great novel. Rich with nuance, meaning, and power that never comprises the overall fictive dream, or even the pure fun of its fictional world, this is a novel to read, re-read, and then re-read again.

A review of The City & The City by China Miéville

China does a terrifically moving job of making the two detectives distrust then come to admire each other, in their own way. Brilliant. Generally, an author has his work cut out to describe one unique city so that the reader believes they are there, but here two cities are created in the same spot. Excellent and original.

A review of The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes

Minutely detailed, beautifully paced, and often wryly fun, each of the stories in The Lemon Table can be read on its own. Together however, the book becomes a rich and varied exploration through the pain, frustration, and vanities of aging,…

A review of An Angel in Australia by Tom Keneally

Although this is primarily a novel of plot – a fine story, rather than a difficult exploration of ideas, Frank’s attempts to reconcile a personal morality which makes sense in terms of his own experiences with the Church’s morality is…

A Review of Summerland by Michael Chabon

Chabon has fashioned from initially unpromising material and after a wobbly beginning a book that should appeal to every reader. How well it will thrive as a book labeled for young readers is another matter. It is unfortunate that it…

A Review of Manil Suri’s The Death of Vishnu

The Death of Vishnu takes place on a small stage, with most of the external action occurring in the narrow stairwell of a Bombay apartment building. The characters are all ordinary, from dying alcoholic Vishnu, to the the warring neighbours…

Philomena Van Rijswijk’s The World as a Clockface

Following in the footsteps of the early Carey, Borges, Marquez, de Bernieres, and Fowles, Van Rijswijk uses her knowledge of the sea, and her antipodean base of Tasmania, to create a unique voice, taking the reader on a descriptive journey from the mythical antipodean island state of Esmania, past a small island to the east called Aotearoa, Antartica, Tierra del Feugo, Paraguay, the Cape of Africa, and back to the Antipodean mainland Incognita.