Sarah Moss does a fine line in subtle violence, both physical and psychological. In Ghost Wall, a teenage girl, Sylvie, is spending her summer on an experimental archaeological site with her parents, a group of university students, and their professor. The opening chapter, however, takes us back to a much earlier voice, that of a … Continue reading Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
Forming part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth is a masterclass in how to keep your reader gripped, even when the tale you’re telling is so well-known. It’s never been one of my favourite plays to teach (I think I have to thank KS3 SATs for that), but this version, set in a … Continue reading Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth – drugs, corruption, and dangerous ambition.
I have to apologise for what will be quite a short review. I’ve just finished this, with only hours to spare, and I’m also cross with myself for not managing the entire shortlist in time for tonight’s announcement. I'll carry on reviewing the rest soon. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do … Continue reading Man Booker 2018 – The Overstory by Richard Powers
Beginning on a slave plantation in 1830s Barbados, before embarking on a whirlwind adventure spanning the globe, Washington Black follows the life and travels of a young slave who has a talent for scientific observation. The eponymous hero is plucked from a life of brutality and fear to act as assistant to the liberal-thinking brother … Continue reading Man Booker 2018 – Washington Black by Esi Edugyan #review
In honour of National Poetry day, I've had a think about some of my favourite poems/poetry set in cities. Whilst I love Lyrical Ballads and all, there's something about the pace of a poem that I think works really well in capturing the frenetic or harsh nature city life can create. 1. Howl by Allen … Continue reading Celebrating Cities in Poetry #NationalPoetryDay, 2018
Shortlisted for the Man Booker this year, Robertson’s The Long Take manages to be both a sweeping view of post-war American, a victorious country in a state of internal turmoil, and an intimate account of a veteran’s struggle with what he has seen and done. Told in narrative free verse, Robertson’s novel is breathtaking in … Continue reading Man Booker 2018 – Robin Robertson’s The Long Take #review