Archive for April, 2011

April 23, 2011

Screwtop Thompson by Magnus Mills

by Stuart

This is the second short story collection from the bus-driving author of The Restraint of Beasts and recent ‘Best-Novel-About-A-Bus-System-Ever-Written’ The Maintenance of Headway. Not much happens in a lot of these, but workaday absurdity and Mills’ deadpan style are irresistibly funny.

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April 17, 2011

The Ancestor’s Tale: Richard Dawkins

by Andy

Released before his elevation to poster boy for Atheism, scourge of Creationists and God-botherer’s the world over, The Ancestor’s Tale is almost certainly his most wondrous and remarkable work: a reverse history of all life on Earth that celebrates the true wonders of nature and evolution.  It may appear an epic tome (largely because it is), but Dawkins has a lot to share, and combined with his unique verve/arrogance/certainty, it makes for a splendidly engaging read that’s over before you know it and, better still, leaves you feeling infinitely cleverer.

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April 8, 2011

Cathedral: Raymond Carver

by Nicola

The magic and mastery of Carver’s short story writing is nothing short of breathtaking.  Let yourself be swept away into the lives of ordinary folk facing bleak truths, disappointments and small revelations.  Be sure of a sharp jolt ending then spend the rest of the day just thinking.  You will not regret it.

April 7, 2011

Cold Comfort Farm: Stella Gibbons

by Andy

An unsubtle satire on the genres of the turgid, overwrought and overwritten considered important literature (Gibbons tartly highlights the passages she considers most characteristic of such); an outright attack on its many clichés (the doom, tragedy and vapid characterisation, all of which face the brunt of Gibbon’s put down’s and her heroine’s belligerent common sense);  but more importantly, just one of the funniest books ever, with more wit, sarcasm, one-liners and general brilliance in a mere 233 pages than other writers have managed in an entire lifetime’s output.

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April 4, 2011

Imperial Bedrooms: Bret Easton Ellis

by Stuart

The notorious American Psycho author returns with a sequel to Less Than Zero: the debut novel he wrote when he was just nineteen. Imperial Bedrooms revisits the lives of Ellis’ young and drugged-up LA social elite, only now it’s 2010, so they’ve all grown up into the middle-aged and drugged-up LA social elite. It features some stomach-churning violence that’s right up there with American Psycho, and I think it’s one of Ellis’ best.

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