Man Booker 2017 Reviews

It was a fantastic shortlist this year - back to the standard of 2013 and the likes of Catton's The Luminaries and Crace's Harvest. Here are the links to my reviews for this year's six shortlisted novels. In the end, as we know, George Saunders took the prize - but it could so easily have … Continue reading Man Booker 2017 Reviews

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Books by ballot – Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus

Being a) often pushed for time, and b) chronically indecisive, I have inaugurated a new method of choosing one of my next reads: once a week I'll set up a poll over on my Twitter account (@moyle3) and ask the good folk of Twitterland to help me decide which one I should prioritise. It may … Continue reading Books by ballot – Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus

Brian Keaney’s The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire

This is a fascinating historical novel which takes in several of the more nefarious trades of Britain in centuries past as part of its story. Using interwoven bildungsroman narratives, Keaney focuses on the idea that hardship and violence can dog a childhood, wherever you are. Anne, growing up in London in terrible poverty, is forced … Continue reading Brian Keaney’s The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire

An Interview with … Wendy Clarke

I am *very* excited to be hosting my first author interview on booksandwinegums and I was delighted when Wendy Clarke agreed to be my first guest. Wendy's new collection of short stories is a festive offering - now that the nights are drawing in, it's an excellent opportunity to start looking forward to Christmas. So, without further ado, … Continue reading An Interview with … Wendy Clarke

Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves – a slow unfolding unease

In some ways, Fridlund’s debut novel reminded me of Ottessa Moshfegh’s Man Booker 2016 shortlisted Eileen: both have narrators who are angular, often unlikeable, and uncomfortable in their skins. And both create a sense of isolation and impoverishment in their narrators’ lives in order to explain their behaviour. However, Fridland’s protagonist, Linda (or ‘Freak’, or … Continue reading Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves – a slow unfolding unease

Helen Matthews’ After Leaving the Village – a gripping tale for our times

Helen Matthews’ debut novel makes for very compelling reading indeed. As with the subject of my last review, Ali Smith’s Autumn, After Leaving the Village is very much a novel of our times, our lives, even if it initially feels that this is a situation fortunately far beyond most people’s comprehension. As alluded to in … Continue reading Helen Matthews’ After Leaving the Village – a gripping tale for our times