Book of the week

OK I am back. Apart from all the usual rants and diversions I hope to each week do a book of, a cd of, and a dvd of, the week. So let’s start with the book. I’ve always been an adventurous reader but i am coming more and more to appreciate the non-experimental novel well […]

Jerome Charyn: Big River Man (and Tord Gustavsen)

It is only because I was rereading Jerome Charyn’s El Bronx that I started seeing how perfect Big River Man would have been as one of his bizarre narratives. At the age of 53, Slovenian distance swimmer Martin Streil swam the entire length of the Amazon (5268 kilometres). He had already swum the length of […]

Two Nigerian born authors: two great books

What are the odds? And within two weeks of random reading. I did not set out to plumb Nigerian-born female writers but here we are – two books very worth reading. The first, Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox, I have not yet finished but offer the passage below as a teaser. Like many books I like […]

3 movies, 2 books and 1 cd

Quick notes these: first to the movies. The first two are BBC Dickens adaptations, Bleak House and Martin Chuzzlewit. The first was astonishingly good in every respect; a great cast and script and quite long which was to my liking. You just did not want this one to end. What I also found quite enthralling […]

Next by James Hynes; bad line in a good book

Really good book and absolutely recommended (though I did like his previous ones more), however I had to double take when I ran across this amusing but just wrong description. I mean, really….think about it! “In front of the ziggurat on the right, a businesswoman in a tight silk suit – a bust like a […]

Jaron Lanier

Not that you need to know what Lanier looks like but this man through this book has some very interesting ideas. The main message appears to be that we keep forgetting that the net is a tool, and as a tool, it unconsciously shapes our behavior. His analysis of the shortcomings and rigidity of the […]

David Gilmour; Sparrow Nights

I had read Sparrow Nights years ago and forgetting I had done so was half the way through before I realized it. With some books, at that point, I close them and move on but I was once again enthralled. I had forgotten as well what a fine writer this man is. The last book […]

A few good lines from a few good books

Trees seen on the walk to work. But on to the books: from the incomparable quasi-mystery author Kate Atkinson and from her story Transparent Fiction from the collection Not the End of the World. This wonderful description on entering a party of mostly strangers. Fletcher and Meredith stood awkwardly in the doorway like shy creatures […]

Line worth the price of the book

“He looked like an elf who’d gone through a bad divorce.”

Police corruption, internal affairs, cliche.

Just a question for all you out there. I read many mystery/thriller novels and one of the usual cliches is the police antagonism toward anybody bringing down dirty cops. Now, naive person that I am, I would think that as with most professions, you would welcome people cleaning out the bad apples, the ones that […]