Tag: fiction

A review of Going Home by Michael de Valle

But it is when de Valle brings death itself directly into the story that his prose really shines. The complex relationship between life and death are the centre of action in “Two slices of blue”, a story about a child who is given back his eyesight from a donor’s corneas. The tightness of the narrative is superbly handled as de Valle moves back and forth between the moment of death/damage, a wife’s realisation that she’s lost her husband, and a parent’s experience of their child’s accident and subsequent operation.

A Review of Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The whole tone is a bit Alice in Wonderland like, and even has a talking cat, silly songs, cryptic messages, characters that metamorphosis, and the kind of almost surreal play between waking and dreaming, life and death, shadow and light which made…

A Review of French Spirits by Jeffrey Greene

French Spirits begins with the earth’s axis tilting away from the sun and sliding “down into the narrow pit of gray winter months” and ends in the Burgundian winter mists, the warmth of life and human celebration contrasting with the eternal…

A Review of Liam’s Going by Michael Joyce

So often novels have style but little substance and often there is a struggle to express substance but the project is doomed without style. Here is a book with both in abundance and a sense of poetry that illumines both…

A Review of Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama

At times the narrative was almost too pretty for its subject – too sentimental. As a reader, I wanted more anger, more pain, more depths into Hana and Cate at least. They are both so good, so radiant, even when…

A Review of J M Coetzee’s Disgrace

David Lurie is a man who has, at fifty two, sorted his life and his sexuality out nicely. He has a tidy job teaching poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, a once a week visit to a discrete…

A Review of Iain Pears’ The Dream of Scipio

Pears is a powerful historian and his research is impeccable. The links between the three stories are handled well, and it is very interesting to watch a similar drama simultaneously playing itself out in very different contexts, albeit on the…

A Review of Maya by Jostein Gaarder

It is a pity that Jostein Gaarder isn’t a better writer. His concepts are so good, and his themes so compelling, that, in this hands of a better fiction writer, he could produce excellent work. As it is, his books…