Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

I didn’t come to The Buried Giant by the standard Ishiguro route, since I’ve not read much of his work. All the descriptions I had read before The Buried Giant arrived in my Christmas stocking agreed that it was an odd and peculiar novel from this modern British novelist because it involved giants and knights and other … Continue reading Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

Dogged mid-West endurance: Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark

This time in the Really Like This Book's podcast script catch-up, I’ve gone west, to Willa Cather’s beautiful novel The Song of the Lark from 1915. If ever there was an advertisement for idyllic American settings, this novel is it. The descriptions evoke desert life near the Mexican border, clean and tidy Scandinavian-immigrant town life in … Continue reading Dogged mid-West endurance: Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark

Edith Wharton and The Custom of the Country

Novels about American women and work, number 2. This Really Like This Book podcast script revisit is about the story of a classic American social climber, Edith Wharton’s magnificent and chilling novel The Custom of the Country, from 1913. I hesitate to call Undine Spragg the heroine, since she is a horrible person, and a monster … Continue reading Edith Wharton and The Custom of the Country

The performances of Roderick Alleyn: Ngaio Marsh at her best

I accidentally began rereading Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn detective novels before Christmas, and have now, a month later, read them all, bar the four that I didn't have which have yet to arrive via Abebooks. These novels are Marsh’s most well-known works, superb Golden Age detective novels in the classic whodunit style, published from the 1930s … Continue reading The performances of Roderick Alleyn: Ngaio Marsh at her best

Working is good for you: Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Girl

Louisa May Alcott's most famous novel, Little Women, and its three sequels make her still a highly popular author, but until fairly recently these were her only novels that most people could name. Many of her Gothic thrillers and sensational potboilers have been resurrected by scholars, the most well-known of which is a rather depressing adult novel of … Continue reading Working is good for you: Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Girl

Fast cars and the open road: Reading speed in Dornford Yates

Brief toot on my academic trumpet here: I had another article published, on how the intensely middlebrow and thriller / comedy novelist Dornford Yates used techniques and ideas from avant garde thinking when writing about fast cars, car chases, driving at speed, and the thrill of speed on the open road (clue: it's all from Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto). You … Continue reading Fast cars and the open road: Reading speed in Dornford Yates

The Golden Age of Murder

Martin Edwards' The Golden Age of Murder is a fat and heavy hardback (the paperback is due out in 2016) endorsed by Len Deighton, as a study of the British writers who created the Golden Age of detective fiction in the 1920s and 1930s. It’s an absolute treasure chest of writers’ names and novels that have … Continue reading The Golden Age of Murder

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Reading for this last podcast script catch-up from Really Like this Book, I could not concentrate on anything else until I had reached the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I thought I had read it before, but I must have skim-read it so fast to reach the end before the next family member in the … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows