There are some themes developing in Kirsty Logan’s work: fairy tales, the sea, and pure magic. In The Gloaming, her second novel in a catalogue that also includes two short story collections, a contemporary fairy story ebbs and flows across many maritime references, focusing on the water that gives life and takes it away. The magic comes in the form of Logan’s bewitching prose – a partly mythical setting, unique description, poetic language and a thrilling voyage.Read More
I like to describe my librarian working life as one big literary party, yet despite frequent interactions with authors, meeting my heroes still leaves me star struck. Seeing Maggie O’Farrell at this year’s Aye Write was no exception.Read More
Although no stranger to the book world, The Valley at the Centre of the World is the debut novel from Shetland-raised, Glasgow-residing Malachy Tallack. Following his non-fiction offerings of the autobiographical 60 Degrees North and last year’s The Un-Discovered Islands, Tallack’s lyrical language (he is also a songwriter and musician) means it comes as no surprise that he has turned his multi-talented hand to writing novels.Read More
The cover description of Gerard Reve’s The Evenings proclaims “the most exhilarating novel about boredom ever written.” As exhilarating as boredom can be, presumably. Translated from its original Dutch to English for the first time since its 1946 publication, The Evenings is the story of Frits, a young office worker who lives, not altogether happily it seems, with his parents. The action – though I use this word loosely – takes place in the evenings of the title, over ten days during the Christmas period, because Frits’s days are simply occupied by work. It is the hours after he leaves the office and before he arrives again that concern us. Although not much really happens then either. He eats dinner, visits people, goes to the cinema, and has nightmares, and that’s about it.Read More
A few pages into the reading of this book I had to pause to Google “Whatever happened to the speech mark?” This ever-increasing trend seems difficult to avoid, and Bloomsbury are right on it throughout this latest offering from the publishing giant. (Incidentally, Google came up with the answer that forfeiting inverted commas makes the speech more immediate and direct. Whatever, I’m just going to make this sentence more direct by leaving out the full stop)Read More
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