• Review: Once a Monster

    I loved Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers, but I really struggled with the pace of his latest novel, Once a Monster. The PoV changes were fine, switching between Nell and Minos, and a few other characters along the way, but the prose really could’ve done with a trim. Every thought was laboured, every plot point discussed […]

  • August Blue by Deborah Levy

    I couldn’t decide if August Blue was a work of genius or a literary ramble. And upon finishing, I’m still somewhat on the fence. Elsa (the name, the blue hair, froze on stage – shades of Disney?) drifts around Europe and says goodbye to her mentor and adopted father. The writing carried this novel for […]

  • End of Story by Louise Swanson

    End of Story is an interesting read, and hugely impressive for a first novel. The writing is phenomenal, very good prose, and I suspect Louise has a solid literary future ahead of her! The novel itself was interesting, though somewhat predictable, and for me it oddly became less believable towards the end. It goes to […]

  • Review: The Purgatory Poisoning by Rebecca Rogers

    Purgatory Poisoning is a good premise – guy stuck in purgatory given the task of identifying his murderer – and it’s pretty well executed in a Good Omens-lite kind of way. It’s whimsical rather than funny, interesting rather than clever, but it ticked enough of the boxes to keep me going. The ending seriously dragged, […]

  • Review: Call Time by Stephen Jones

    Steve Jones is a British TV presenter. I’ve never seen him, but apparently he’s good natured. Call Time starts slow then charges towards several genre cliches, so I was looking for reasons to to file it under DNF. Unfortunately, that good nature comes across in his writing, giving it just enough momentum to keep you […]

  • How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz

    This is about as unique as you can get! Cara lost her factory job and her benefits have expired – the whole novel is a one-sided series of interviews with a welfare department employee who is assisting her with getting another job and assessing whether she’s eligible for further benefits. Sounds pretty dull, eh? Well, […]

  • Review: The Measure (Hardcover) by Nikki Erlick

    If you could know how long you had left to live, would you want to know? Would you do things differently? Would you be prejudiced against people with shorter lives? Maybe not hire them? Or not date them perhaps? The Measure asks many of these questions. The eight or so main characters are in different […]

  • Review: Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (Paperback) by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    In an interview, Kurt Vonnegut explained that he writes all his novels in short, uncluttered sentences, never using words or phrases that a teenager couldn’t understand. He joked this was because he wanted to get onto high-school curriculums, and the sight of a semi-colon would scare the kids off. This simplicity also generates a fairy […]

  • Review: The Whale Tattoo by Jon Ransom

    As debuts go, this is impressive and I’m sure Jon Ransom has a healthy writing career ahead of him. The problem, I felt, was that he tried to cram all his creative ideas into a single book – dysfunctional family, (non-)romantic trysts, and a bit of the supernatural (or mental health, it’s never made clear). […]

  • Review: The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell

    The Whispering Muse is a good summer read – well, late autumn read I guess now. It’s well paced, describes the theatre and the productions well, and is easy to read. The ending felt rushed (was the deadline looming or was the mortgage payment due!), and I’m sure it’ll be forgettable in weeks, but it’ll […]

Got any book recommendations?