Category Archives: Fiction

Books of the Year

Tender is the Night – F.Scott Fitzgerald One of the pleasures of reading is re-reading. I must have read this novel as a student and I’ve read it at least once since then, enjoying it both times. This time was different … Continue reading

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Frontier Visions

Embedded deep in the American consciousness is the idea of the frontier. The taming of the Wild West and the birth of the nation are part of American identity and it’s not for nothing that Captain Kirk and his Star … Continue reading

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‘The Horror, The Horror’

There was a headline in the news recently about the cost of the war in Afghanistan. Apparently, we’ve all paid more than £2,000 for what seemed, even from the beginning, a futile exercise. What struck me was not the waste … Continue reading

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‘The Last Hit’

There are certain images of Wales that are hard to shake: male voice choirs, coal miners, rugby, sheep, women in strange costumes playing the harp, the seriously-suited chapel-goer. None of these appear in ‘The Last Hit’ by Llwyd Owen, a … Continue reading

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Absolute liberty, perhaps

‘Open Door’ by Iosi Havilio With the dwindling number of bookshops on the high street, a market dominated by ‘big players’ such as Waterstones and the increasing power of Amazon and its Kindle, smaller publishers have had to work hard … Continue reading

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Storytelling

The short story seems to be staging something of a recovery. Today, the winner of The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award for 2013 is announced, the £30,000 is the most generous prize in the world for a … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Philip Roth!

Another Philip said that Sidney Bechet’s voice falls on him ‘Like an enormous yes.’ The same is true for me when I read Philip Roth. Six years after the retirement of Nathan Zuckerman, his alter ego narrator, in ‘Exit Ghost’, … Continue reading

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