23 May 2016
Whether everyone who picks up the book will go along with its overweening idiosyncrasy is open to question, but the same could be said of any artwork that dares to push boundaries.
20 May 2016
One gets the sense in reading The Night Clock that the author is someone who understands what makes people tick.
18 May 2016
How many narratives have we read where the protagonists' survival soothes, if not justifies, other wounds and absences? If the human species is the protagonist in this story, who or what is everything else?
16 May 2016
If The Just City was about a heroic—but ultimately doomed—effort to harmonise disparate human wills into a common project in order to achieve Plato’s Republic, then The Philosopher Kings shows us how the project was impossible from the very beginning.
13 May 2016
In Dick's original novel, Nazism is an enigmatic horror. The Man in the High Castle's handling of Nazism is so pedestrian that it calls into question whether the writers understood anything they were writing about.
11 May 2016
If Empire is established in the narrative, not as a constant, but as a problem, then steampunk becomes the perfect tool with which to check its spread.
09 May 2016
The Dark Forest faces a challenge confronted by many sequels: when the hook of the first instalment was its central mystery, how do you keep readers' interest once that mystery is solved?
06 May 2016
This makes for an implicit metatextual argument for historical fiction/biography as a whole: you have to conjure one world into the reality of another, and to do so isn't so much about researching and relaying the facts as it is allowing them to calcinate in the imagination.
04 May 2016
There's a great deal of smarts driving this book, especially in the way Thompson uses the conventions of the genre to comment on sexist and violent attitudes toward women.
02 May 2016
Mamatas's close relationship to San Francisco and the Bay Area feeds into his descriptions of the city and into the adventures and anecdotes shared by the characters, showing us how we're surrounded by stories and also exchanging stories with our fellow human beings on a daily basis.
29 April 2016
There are a million small things to like about Cat's Whirld, but it's hard to say if there is any one that truly stands out, or that makes it an uncontroversially good book.
27 April 2016
Here, the master's tools can’t be used to dismantle his house, and the only option for women who want to tell their own story is to drop out of the story we’re reading.
25 April 2016
I began to find myself perversely reminded of an old sketch by Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. Lee’s Jesus is delivering a parable to his disciples, but whenever Herring’s Matthew attempts to unpack one of his metaphors Jesus forestalls him with a beatific “Ahh!”
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