Tag: fiction

A Review of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections

 The style is edged in irony as one might expect with such a subject but there are few quotable passages. Franzen is more concerned with the production of a seamless narrative. Although there are no solecisms, a few sentences are…

A Review of Isabel Allende’s Portrait in Sepia

Portrait in Sepia is a very easy to read, well researched, straightforward narrative, which is interesting for its historical context, and perhaps relaxing, albeit devoid of serious philosophical depths, real characterisation, or linguistic innovation. Reviewed by Magdalena Ball Portrait in Sepia…

A Review of Hooking Up by Tom Wolfe

 Despite the occasional whine, the self-aggrandisement which is rampant throughout the essays, some of which read like a prelude to an autobiography which must surely be in the works, Hooking Up is a worthwhile read, if only for the genius which comes…

A review of Max Sollitt’s The Correspondence Course

How do we define good writing? Are there clear boundaries between writing genres, fact and fiction, history and theory, writing and criticism? These are some of the questions raised by Max Sollitt’s first novel The Correspondence Course, which defies its own definition…

A review of Karen Sedaitis’ Soul Dark Soil

Humus-rich Food for the Soul: Karen Sedaitis’ Soul Dark Soil  Sedaitis’ work gets under the reader’s skin; goes deeper than the details of her stories, and even when she is describing something ugly, like dismemberment, rot, abduction, physical, or emotional…

A review of Tom Keneally’s Bettany’s Book

 Bettany’s Book has just been released in paperback. The generosity of Bettany’s Book leads us to not only follow the strivings of the Bettany family and those whose paths they cross, such as Sharif and Felix, the “Europeanised, educated natives”,…

A Review of The Romantics by Pankaj Mishra

 Mishra oversimplifies his characters till they remain nothing but poorly illustrated cardboard cutouts. Samar’s character emerges slowly and painfully from the murky undergrowth of the meagre plot. And most of his personality remains obscured by the slime he insists on…

A Review of Louis de Bernieres’ Red Dog

The cute little red book has 15 sweet and poignant stories based on the real life of a well known dog whose bronze statue appears in Karratha, a Western Australia mining town. Aside from the evil wind which Red Dog…

A Review of Nadine Gordimer’s The Pickup

Nadine Gordimer has written over 25 books, and has won the Booker and Nobel Prizes. The Pickup is her 13th novel, and perhaps, at 77 years of age, she no longer feels the need to pander to an audience. The Pickup certainly raises questions…

A Review of E M Forster’s A Room With A View

I found A Room with a View to be, if not in the absolute top rank, nevertheless a very worthwhile piece of literature. Aside from being a sensitive study of a woman who often doesn’t know herself well enough, it is a…