The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante

'Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly.' A more condensed narrative than the rather sprawling Neapolitan Quartet, Elena Ferrante's new novel is a classic bildungsroman with an interesting gothic flavour. As with the Quartet's main figures, our new narrator, Giovanna, is focused on her growing awareness … Continue reading The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante

‘There She Blows’ – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

Well, that was some read. I read quickly (it’s my only useful skill) and this has taken me weeks. It’s on a par with Richardson’s Clarissa in terms of the stamina required, but I’m glad I’ve read it - and unlike my experience with Richardson’s epic tome, I wasn’t being whipped along by the demands … Continue reading ‘There She Blows’ – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

The first Booker Winner – P. H. Newby’s Something to Answer For (1969)

The announcement of the Booker shortlist is always a highlight for me. The lists often feature a mix of household names and, perhaps more excitingly, new authors who are making a break from the pack early on in their careers. Fiona Mosley’s Elmet, shortlisted in 2017, is one of the most powerful books I’ve read … Continue reading The first Booker Winner – P. H. Newby’s Something to Answer For (1969)