I was dismayed by the recent BBC TV adaptation of Great Expectations (and by the almost uniform acclaim that it received), but unsure how much my memory of the work was influenced by the David Lean film version, so I decided to read the book again. It proved to be a welcome return to a … Continue reading Great Expectations: what is a person’s worth?
Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending is a gripping read – I raced through it one sitting – but it’s far from lightweight, chewing over ideas about the malleability and untrustworthiness of memory in the course of detailing the unravelling of a mystery with its origins in the narrator’s schooldays. The (likely unreliable) narrator … Continue reading The Sense of an Ending
In the Guardian Review today there’s a new short story by Colm Tóibín, The Empty Family, the title story from a forthcoming collection. Looking through a telescope at the sea, the story’s narrator is transfixed by the sight of the waves miles out: Their dutiful and frenetic solitude, their dull indifference to their fate, made … Continue reading ‘Sea that can only move forward’
To read Every Man Dies Alone, Fallada’s testament to the darkest years of the 20th century, is to be accompanied by a wise, sombre ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: “This is how it was. This is what happened”. – Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review Every Man Dies Alone … Continue reading Alone In Berlin: resistance is futile?
‘I was on South Bank one day by the Royal Festival Hall. It was a sunny day with a bright blue sky. I was looking up at a train crossing the Hungerford Bridge. Through the train I could see the sky successively framed by each window as the carriage passed. Each window moving quickly forward … Continue reading Turtle Diary
Recently JG Farrell’s novel Troubles was chosen by readers as winner of the Lost Booker award, intended to correct the anomaly that befell authors of books published in 1970, who missed the opportunity to be considered for the Booker prize when it changed from being given retrospectively to being handed out for the best novel … Continue reading Troubles: the prize at last
I popped into the Bluecoat this afternoon to see the exhibition marking the centenary of Malcolm Lowry’s birth, Under the Volcano, which is in its last few days. I was glad I did – it’s an enormously interesting exhibition, featuring paintings inspired by Lowry’s work as well as memorabilia from Lowry’s Wirral and Liverpool upbringing … Continue reading Malcolm Lowry: an exhibition