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Dan Holloway "Dan, Songs from the Other Side of the Wall"

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Bewitched (The Pankhearst Singles Club Book 6)
Bewitched (The Pankhearst Singles Club Book 6)
Price: 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 10 Jun 2014
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Garrett has a facility for language and the conveyance of emotion that sweeps the reader off their feet. A pitch perfect mixture of poetry and prose.


Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway
Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway
Price: 3.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Masterpiece, 10 Jun 2014
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I read this in a single sitting. It is head and shoulders the best book I've read this year so far.

Sprawling across the dark and neon heart of contemporary urban life, this is a semi-autobiographical retelling of the Odyssey that thumps a hole right through you. Cured Meat sits naturally alongside Tony O'Neill's Digging the Vein or the very best of Derek Jarman as a lyrical, heartbreaking, visceral study of the glorious struggle to hang onto humanity as life spirals downwards and out of control. The writing here is among the most beautiful you will ever read - long lugubrious lyrical sentences sitting side by side with pithy punchy brutal prose.

It is impossible to recommend this book highly enough. I implore you to read it.


End Credits (The Pankhearst Singles Club Book 2)
End Credits (The Pankhearst Singles Club Book 2)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Murakami at his best, 19 April 2014
This is a deeply unsettling piece of magic realism that combines many of the finest elements of Haruki Murakami's work - porous realities, mysterious phone calls, preternatural women. But most of all, this recalls the scene in Sputnik Sweetheart when Miu, Murakami's most perfect creation, literally splits in two.

End Credit is a story of obsession and projection. Tim and Naomi are in love, but neither will admit it to the other. Their crippling inability to confess their feelings separates them on opposing sides of the world, a very literal depiction of the gulf between them. The book unravels their attempts to bridge, somehow, that divide. Saying anything else would give away too many spoilers. Suffice to say there is an emotional creepiness, a deeply unsettling layering of imagery and some exquisite prose that makes this an instant cult classic.


Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical, confident and wonderfully unsettling new voice, 3 Mar 2014
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There is an assurance in the voice of this novel that lets you know from the off that you are in the safest of hands. Everybody Knows this is Nowhere belongs firmly at the centre of a new generation of literary writers whose origins can be found in the culture of 3AM and the Offbeats, a generation that seamlessly inhabit the digital and the real, and whose writing has a sparse lyricality that reflects the blurring of teh boundaries of internal and external expression. It's a group of writers that includes Jenni Fagan, Sam Mills, and Lee Rourke, and in this book has found a poetic and unsettling new voice.


Desecration (London Psychic Book 1)
Desecration (London Psychic Book 1)
Price: 2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gloriously gothic, 29 Jan 2014
This book follows the investigation into the murder of a pharmaceuticals heiress who has been investigating her parents’ practices. The scene of the crime is the wonderfully suggestive Hunterian Museum with its collection of surgical specimens and anatomical anomalies. The rest of the book takes us on a tour of body modification, from plastination and corpse art through the world of fetish and body mod to genetics.

As well as being a fascinating journey into a number of different underworlds – and asking some very interesting questions about consent and how we differentiate between bodily interferences of different kinds – this is a book that poses very interesting questions about western modernity’s relationship with the body. What emerges is what seems to me a very strange – but accurate – modern form of dualism that accets a scientific reduction of “life” to the “natural” but nonetheless, in its view of death and the corpse as a vacated shell seems to want to retain the notion that something, the crucial thing, has fled the scene. Which, of course, raises all kinds of questions about why the body matters to us whilst we are alive.


The Imagination Thief
The Imagination Thief
Price: 3.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex, cubist novel, 10 July 2013
The Imagination Thief is one of those books that has originality stamped across it with a pair of size 12 DMs. An incredibly dark yet full and balanced with shafts of light picaresque through the recesses of the human psyche, it is an uncomfortable, troubling immersive experience that mixes text, audio and video taking us into places we would rather not go. It could be described as a cubist novel, taking each aspect of the torn mind and laying them out on separate planes through the different media.


Pig Island
Pig Island
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Pig Island, 3 Aug 2011
This review is from: Pig Island (Kindle Edition)
A strange book, and possibly not my best introduction to Mo Hayder. The first third is a cracking romp, though the inconsistency of voice, which starts heavily dialected and then seems to fall suddenly into regular as if Hayder forgot, can be frustrating. Thence it settles into a melodrama from which we keep thinking we'll be launched into more adventure or terror - only we never are. There are some truly unpleasant characters such as the MC's wife, Lexie, who is so revoltingly self-absorbed she's little more than a stereotype. But the real unpleasantness is that which Hayder reserves for the character of Angeline. The viciousness of the "twist" and the way Angeline is systematically abused not by the characters but by the author is pretty revolting and does Hayder no favours.


N.P.
N.P.
by Banana Yoshimoto
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius, 25 July 2011
This review is from: N.P. (Paperback)
I discovered Banana Yoshimoto's work quite by accident when I had 5 minutes to spare in the Waterstone's between Leicester Square and Covent Garden and was drawn to the beautiful, stark cover of the UK edition of Kitchen. I loved the book so much I was back within a day or so to pick up N.P. which is, quite simply, the best book I've ever read. The sinmplicity of Yoshimoto's prose is the perfect, unassuming wrapping for the complex, terrifying, slap to the solar plexus emotioal layering her stories contain. There is a dignity and simplicity to her prose that is utterly heartbreaking.

To give an idea of who may enjoy Yoshimoto's work, the closest parallels I can think of are When I Forgot by Elina Hirvonen and Damage by Josephine Hart, though I suspect anyone who, like me, loves Murakami, will find Yoshimoto if anything even better than the master.


Long Time Walk on Water
Long Time Walk on Water
by Joan Barbara Simon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Long Time Walk on Water, 5 July 2011
In some ways this is very different from the same author's Mut@tus, which is one of my very favourite books. Where Mut@tus is a very inward-looking tale of one woman's self-discovery, Long Time Walk on Water has an epic sweep that takes us on a global voyage where Mut@tus takes us on a journey through the soul.
Yet look closer and the stamp of Simon's witing is clear. The exquisite interweaving of narratives, the way she captures the moments of realisation, actualisation and passion that pepper her characters' lives. And like Mut@tus this is, at base, a journey of self-discovery, beautifully crafted, and one that will leave the reader as changed as Simon's characters. Highly highly recommended.


Breathing Underwater
Breathing Underwater
by Marie Darrieussecq
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathing Underwater, 28 Jun 2011
This review is from: Breathing Underwater (Paperback)
Two of the most extraordinary books of recent times have been about mothers taking their children to the sea. The second is Veronique Olmi's chilling Beside the Sea, which shares much of the darkness of this novel but is in many other ways its opposite.

Darrieussecq's language flows over the reader like warm waves on a sunny day. It's a style that is in danger of being too rich (novellas often provoke the question "how long could such and such be sustained?" Fortunately in the case of Breathing Underwater, as with Beside the Sea, the answer is "exactly this long"). We are in danger of drowning in the prose, being engulfed by its languid warmth, and any one of a number of metaphors provoked by the book's title and story. But, as with the characters - the mother who runs away from life taking her daughter with her and the world-weary detective (who reminds me a lot of Arbergast from Psycho) who comes searching for her - the prose's gentle but unrelenting warmth wins us over and leaves us transformed as it does the novel's protagonists.

Infinitely superior to Pig Tales (which fortunately I read afterwards or I may not have come to this), whcih was a simple allegory stretched too far, Breathing Underwater is one of those deceptively brilliant novellas one comes across so rarely that illustrates exactly what the form can do in pushing a single idea to the edge of breaking point. An absolute masterclass recommended without hesitation.


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