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A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is one of those books which everyone has heard of but which few people have actually read –- mostly, I think, because it is precede...more
Mar 2008
Feb 16, 2008
'Welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely. And leave something of the happiness you bring!'

These are pretty much the first words spoken to Jonathan...more
Dec 1995
Aug 05, 2008
I Capture the Castle
This is going to be the shortest review I've written on this site in a while. The reason I'm going to keep it short is because no description could po...more
Apr 2006
Jul 14, 2008
Madame Bovary
Like every European teenager who takes French at secondary school, I was supposed to read Madame Bovary when I was seventeen or so. I chose not to, an...more
Oct 2002
Mar 27, 2008
The Great Gatsby
Like many people, I first read The Great Gatsby when I was too young to understand it. I appreciated the beauty of Fitzgerald's prose and his gift for...more
Jul 1993
Jul 22, 2008
The Silence of the Lambs
Call me a freak, but I have a bit of a crush on Hannibal Lecter. He may be the scariest fuck out there (certainly scarier than the supposed monster of...more
Feb 1992
Jul 31, 2008
The Handmaid's Tale
The scariest thing about Atwood's dystopian fantasy, first published in 1985, is how prophetic it seems. There were references in the book which sent...more
Apr 2009
Apr 16, 2009
Middlemarch (Oxford World's Classics)
Widely regarded as the quintessential Victorian novel, Middlemarch is a superb study of life among the upper and upper middle classes of a fictional r...more
Apr 1996
Jul 11, 2008
Having recently seen and loved the magnificent film adaptation, I decided to reread Atonement, which quite impressed me when it was first published. A...more
Feb 2008
Feb 16, 2008
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
A cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama. That's how I would describe Perfume, the great German classic of the 1980s. Basically, it...more
Jan 2006
Feb 02, 2008
All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1)
I seldom abandon books after reading just a couple of pages, but in this case I had no choice. Two pages into the book I was so annoyed by McCarthy's...more
not set
Jun 25, 2008
All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front (or, to give it its German title, Nothing New in the West) has been hailed as the best war novel ever, and it's easy to...more
Sep 2009
Oct 02, 2009
Of Human Bondage
Of Human Bondage is a Bildungsroman which frequently makes you groan and mentally exclaim 'Oh, no!', only to blow you away with the power of its messa...more
Dec 2003
Jul 07, 2008
The Painted Veil
What do you do when you discover that the wife you love despite the fact that she is shallow as hell and obviously despises you is having an affair? F...more
Feb 2009
Feb 16, 2008
The Prestige
Like many readers, I came to this book after seeing the excellent 2006 film based on it. Like many other readers, I ended up preferring the film to th...more
Dec 2007
Dec 11, 2007
Mrs. Dalloway
I feel odd reviewing Mrs Dalloway just days after writing a lecture-length review of The Hours, which touches upon much the same themes. Yet I think I...more
Mar 2003
Apr 04, 2008
The House of Mirth
I love books about people who perish for staying true to their principles, regardless of what these principles are. I also love books which make me wo...more
Sep 2000
Feb 16, 2008
Jude the Obscure
If it weren't for the fact that it's somewhat whiny and depressing (and that's putting it mildly), Jude the Obscure would be an ideal book for seconda...more
Sep 1996
Jul 21, 2008
Northanger Abbey
Penguin calls Northanger Abbey 'the most youthful and optimistic' of Jane Austen’s romances. I'm going to be slightly less generous myself and call it...more
Apr 1996
Jul 08, 2008
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
I wanted to like this book. I really did. After all, how can one fail to be drawn in by a story about a German boy, the son of a high-ranking Nazi off...more
Sep 2009
Sep 13, 2009
Everything Is Illuminated
I'm not sure how I feel about this, one of the most overhyped novels of the early noughties. On the one hand, it undeniably contains flashes of genius...more
Jan 2004
Jan 17, 2008
The Hours
Several years ago I had the fortune of watching the film adaptation of The Hours, which quite blew me away. I'm not sure why it then took me so long t...more
Mar 2008
Feb 16, 2008
In Cold Blood
I don't know why I waited so long after seeing and liking Capote to read the book on which the film was partly based, but I'm glad I finally got aroun...more
Jan 2008
Jan 14, 2008
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
Wow. That was my response after reading just a few pages of The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter's amazing collection of re-imagined fairy tales. Carter...more
Jul 23, 2008
Feb 16, 2008
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)
Every now and then you come across a book whose prose is thoroughly unimpressive but whose premise and sheer bravado manage to suck you in nonetheless...more
Jun 2002
Jul 16, 2008
Keep the Aspidistra Flying
I haven't yet read Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, a supposedly excellent autobiographical account of a middle-class man's descent into abj...more
Mar 2008
Feb 16, 2008
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Is it wrong that I kept seeing Audrey Hepburn in my mind's eye while reading Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote's best-known novella? I guess it's...more
Dec 2009
Jan 03, 2010
The Innocent
'To innocence. And to Anglo-German co-operation.'

This is what Leonard, a stuffy English engineer who has been sent to post-war, pre-wall Berlin to ass...more
Jan 2009
Feb 02, 2009
High Fidelity
If there is a more insightful and funnier look into the male psyche out there than High Fidelity, I have yet to find it. Nick Hornby's debut is as ast...more
Oct 2001
Feb 16, 2008
The Third Man and The Fallen Idol
Carol Reed's The Third Man ranks among my favourite noir films. To a large extent, this is because of its stunningly atmospheric black-and-white cinem...more
Jul 2008
Aug 04, 2008
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