JG Ballard – Empire of the Sun

World War II literature is a genre that interests me tremendously. It would be wrong to say that I find it enjoyable, but the fact remains that I actively seek out books on WWII. So far though, most of the WWII fiction (and non-fiction) I’ve perused has taken place in Europe, so Ballard’s much acclaimed […]

Muriel Spark – Loitering With Intent

There’s a thin line between reality and fiction; they oft’ reflect each other very closely, so much so that the line is indiscernible. But – what happens when reality starts imitating fiction? That’s the basic premise of Spark’s 1981 novel, starring Fleur Talbot: an aspiring writer in London in the 1950s. She’s writing her first […]

Sarah Waters – The Night Watch

Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch is the third novel I’ve read by her, and it’s as different as the previous two as it can be. While one was a gothic ghost story set in Warwickshire (The Little Stranger), the other was a Victorian thriller (Fingersmith). And then we have this: a book set (mostly in) […]

David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas

In January 2009, I was introduced to the wonderful world of David Mitchell by a friend, who lent me the surreal number9dream – a book I absolutely loved. She proceeded to lend me Cloud Atlas next, and it’s been sitting abandoned on my unread shelf for about a year now, as I’ve been reluctant to pick […]

Simon Mawer – The Glass Room

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2009, Simon Mawer’s immense novel revolves around The Glass Room, or, Der Glasraum: A modernist house resulting from an architect whose maxim is ornamentation is crime. The conception of the house happens when Victor (a Jew, who owns an automobile manufacturing company) and Liesel Landauer are gifted a plot […]

J.M. Coetzee – Summertime

And so, my Booker shortlist (2009) journey continues with Coetzee’s fictional memoir, which completes the trilogy, already containing Boyhood and Youth. I haven’t read either of them, so, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Summertime, although my experience with Coetzee told me it wouldn’t be a very “summertime” book. Needless to say, I was […]

Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger

This is the first book on the Booker shortlist that I’ve tackled this year, and I have to admit that my opinion on the book remains ambivalent. Having finished Fingersmith a couple of weeks back, I expected a lot more from The Little Stranger – more twists and turns, and surprises. Ironically, what makes The […]

The Booker Half Dozen

Is actually a half-dozen. So, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced today, and I sheepishly admit that I haven’t read a single book that made the shortlist. Considering I only read two books on the long list, I don’t think that’s incredibly surprising. I intended to read the entire shortlist when it […]

Lloyd Jones – Mister Pip

Set in Papua New Guinea, in the 1990s, this book is narrated by Matilda, an adolescent, who witnesses the horrors of civil war first hand. The book opens with many people fleeing the island, and it being lost to the outside world, as the ‘redskins’ (the government soldies) and the ‘rambos’ (rebels) advances. One white […]

Sarah Waters – Fingersmith

It’s the 1860s, and Lant Street, a dodgy street near Southwark Bridge, is inhabited by petty thieves, small-time burglars, piddling swindlers and the like. Here lives Sue Trinder, a seventeen year old, with Mrs. Sucksby (her guardian), and Mr. Ibbs (a man who fences stolen items), along with a bunch of infants, unwanted in this […]

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