Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (72 of 78)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 19,218 - Total Helpful Votes: 72 of 78
PIG IRON by Myers Benjamin
PIG IRON by Myers Benjamin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets under your skin, 25 Aug 2014
It’s a story that drags you into a world all too readily prejudged and forces you to look at life another way. The character of John-John Wisdom is sympathetic, deep, dignified and endearing, even when he’s pounding another man to a pulp.
It’s hard and brutal and contains several graphic scenes of violence or cruelty, but these are not gratuitous. Shocking, yes, but crucial to both storyline and character. There are also tender moments, where we see the hope and love creeping through the cracks in both toughened facades.
The split narrative is an intelligent device which compounds one of the novel’s themes, that of the inescapability of the past. The second narrator, whom I won’t… Read more
Seeking Sophia by Ariadne Apostolou
Seeking Sophia by Ariadne Apostolou
Kleio gets an email from an ex-lover, Philippe. It’s been twenty years.
A lot has happened. Kleio’s had cancer, chemo, wigs, worries and lovers, and now she’s planting a tree. The author takes us on a geographical journey to New York, Geneva, and Greece, but the emotional parallel is far less predictable. The definition of independence, Kleio seeks a dependant. She wants, she needs, a child.
This book, despite its polish and sophistication, feels raw. Emotions are on the table with the olives, tomatoes and jug of rough wine.
This is a writer who can do big picture and microscopic detail, depending on how it serves the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed Kleio’s journey, the… Read more
Everlasting Lane (Galley Beggar Britain) by Andrew Lovett
4.0 out of 5 stars A writer I will watch, 25 Aug 2014
Set in the 1970s, an era which to me seemed so sunny and innocent, this peculiarly difficult-to-define book crystallises something extraordinary about childhood imagination.
There are elements of The Wasp Factory. Our narrator – Peter – knows there’s a secret somewhere. So does the reader and we’re far keener to find it.
There are parallels to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, with the oddly articulate and capable Anna-Marie who is alternately in control and struggling with her environment. There’s Black Swan Green, in the misfits’ creativity and the discovery that adults can be unreliable and dangerous.
I loved this book for its period detail, its dextrous unravelling of… Read more