Category Archives: Reviews

Saxon’s Bane – a slice of England

Saxon’s Bane, by my pal Geoffrey Gudgion, will be released on 12th Sept in the UK and 27th August in the USA by Solaris Books, an imprint of Rebellion.  You heard it here first: read and enjoy. I was lucky enough to get … Continue reading

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Every now and then someone asks on line what makes you put down a book without finishing it. I’m in the more unusual position of finding myself finishing a book that is driving me to drink with irritation. Jonathan Franzen’s … Continue reading

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Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins – Interview!

I am spending some time in Penarth, a great small town just outside Cardiff, the capital of Wales.  One of its great attractions is the Windsor bookshop.  Last Thursday they had a booklaunch.  I went along and had the great … Continue reading

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A History of Reading by Steven Tibor Fischer

To write is to read. An obvious truism yet they are different. Writing, particularly writing fiction, is to call into being something new. Even the most prosaic shopping list is pregnant with meals to be made. Any act of creation … Continue reading

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Hyperreality and Escape in Iran

The ffotogallery in Cardiff has been exhibiting photographs by and about women in Iran.  I caught the last  day yesterday.  As a whole the exhibition oscillates between celebrating love and marking censorship.  The curator, Amek Mahmoodian, has a wonderful exhibit … Continue reading

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Love and water: Ninepins by Rosy Thornton

Ninepins was published last week. The eponymous toll-house is in an isolated Fen village outside Cambridge. Standing just a little higher than the surrounding reclaimed flat land, it is home to Laura and her asthmatic twelve year-old, Beth. Laura lets … Continue reading

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The bodies of willing donors are injected with plastic, their flesh burned away leaving a complex web of their circulatory system in a lurid scarlet. The covering of the skull is nearly complete. Delicate filigree encases the space where the … Continue reading

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This is Illyria, Lady: A short history of the Adriatic

The stretch of sea that reaches, like the long neck of a bottle, from the Ionian to the foot of the Alps has been long overdue for its own narrative.  Everyone, it seems, has dipped a toe in its waters. … Continue reading

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Hajj in London

Hajj.  Pilgrimage.  Sacred journeys undertaken to specific places to celebrate, emphasise, renew faith.  A complex, crowded concept. The British Museum Hajj exhibition is a complex concept too (though mercifully not too crowded on a Wednesday morning).  The content of the … Continue reading

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Glass, boats and dreams

Today I had the great good fortune to talk to colleagues who work just beside the great British tea clipper the Cutty Sark.  In 2007, she was swept by fire, nearly destroying this beautiful and historic ship that has graced … Continue reading

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