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This Greek family saga, as narrated by a hermaphrodite, has many pages, but I flicked through them easily like so many moistened labia. Moments of tra ...more
not set
Jul 24, 2008
The Rain Before It Falls
I liked this better than The Closed Circle and The Rotters Club, but not as much as What a Carve Up, Like a Fiery Elephant or the The House of Sleep. ...more
Jul 20, 2008
Jul 14, 2008
August Is A Wicked Month
This must have been audacious stuff back in 1965, with its frank depiction of feminine carnality, but today it seems dated. Holidaying in France and e ...more
May 03, 2011
Apr 26, 2011
The Circle
As a satire on the modern workplace and communications in the internet age, this was spot-on and I LOVED the first two-thirds (the fact that I work in ...more
Dec 13, 2014
Dec 11, 2014
The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts
A sort of Bad Girls at sea, this was a history book about an all-female convict ship that sailed to Australia at the end of the 18th century. It was f ...more
Jun 20, 2008
Jun 06, 2008
My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
Frank O'Connor's wry stories about Irish childhood are staples of the Irish school syllabus, and rightly so. However, when making my way through his s ...more
Dec 11, 2014
Oct 04, 2014
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
Part 2 in my ongoing series "Stuff I Loved as a Kid That Is Still Ace". And Reggie Perrin is perhaps even MORE ace, now that I know what it is to be a ...more
Apr 20, 2010
Apr 20, 2010
Talking Cock
Despite its length, I gobbled this down in just one day.
not set
Aug 16, 2009
Round the Christmas Fire: Festive Stories
A strong collection of stories from all sorts of top-notch writers, including Truman Capote, M. R. James, Edith Wharton, John Cheever and Nancy Mitfor ...more
Jan 23, 2015
Jan 23, 2015
The Year of Magical Thinking
It's really a three-star rather than a two, but I always give three or four stars and I wanted to mix it up a little. Intermittently, it's an excellen ...more
Mar 2008
Mar 25, 2008
The Midwich Cuckoos
This would have been five stars if the philosophising hadn't sometimes got in the way of the action. The opening scenes and the fatal confrontations w ...more
Sep 14, 2014
Sep 05, 2014
Sucker Bait And Other Stories
Who can resist a compilation of horror comic stories with titles such as 'Funereal Disease' and 'Sucker Bait'?
Apr 19, 2015
Apr 19, 2015
Troubles (Empire Trilogy, #1)
After watching Ryan's Daughter *in its entirety* to celebrate St Patrick's Day, imagine my delight at discovering that this book also features a shell ...more
Apr 04, 2011
Mar 23, 2011
The Choirboys
I didn't like this book to begin with, it all seemed a bit hard-boiled and the Police-Academy-meets-Porky's japes rankled. But then I saw that the cop ...more
Apr 19, 2011
Apr 07, 2011
The Irish Adventures Of Worzel Gummidge
A delightful and much-loved addition to an Irish Worzel fan's bookshelf, offering much pleasure, but the volume of said pleasure is not greatly increa ...more
Jan 18, 2015
Jan 18, 2015
The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers
I came for The Turn of the Screw, and stayed for The Aspern Papers. The first is the more famous, and enormously influential - but I enjoyed the secon ...more
May 27, 2014
Apr 17, 2014
A Girl in Winter
I was curious to see how dear old Pip would deal with the novel form, and he handles it admirably.

The theme, as one might expect, is isolation: crush
Jun 30, 2008
Jun 24, 2008
The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
The perfect coffin table book for the woman who has everything.
Apr 19, 2015
Apr 19, 2015
Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)
Classic holiday apartment reading. Some death happened, and then the Belgian man worked it out sooner than the other man who was trying to help him wo ...more
May 16, 2015
May 16, 2015
Orrible Murder: Victorian Crime and Passion
A compendium of news articles from trashy Victorian tabloid The Illustrated Police News, covering all the most shocking crimes and curious cases of th ...more
Jun 12, 2009
Jun 13, 2009
Night Shift
To steal a joke from someone else, after a while this felt like Stephen King was flicking through the Argos catalogue choosing which inanimate object ...more
Apr 06, 2014
Mar 30, 2014
Third Year at Malory Towers (Malory Towers, #3)
In which Darrell encounters new girls Zerelda, a precocious American who needs taking down a peg or two, and Wilhelmina, or 'Bill', who turns out to b ...more
Mar 09, 2013
Aug 05, 2008
Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast
"There is a feeling that a man who deserts his wife and child and sacrifices a cat and forces his mistress to submit to intercourse with a goat is som ...more
Nov 28, 2009
Nov 16, 2009
Irelantis: Paper Collages
Computer whizzery and jiggery-pokery can do all sorts but, back in the day, this Newry lad painstakingly created a surreal, mythical Ireland using Joh ...more
Jan 2000
May 14, 2007
The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher Or The Murder At Road Hill House
This book, like the real-life murder investigation it takes as its subject, starts off with great drama and excitement, then loses its way halfway thr ...more
Apr 07, 2011
Apr 04, 2011
On the Front Line: True World War I Stories
These first-hand accounts gathered together for a 1930 compilation gave me entirely new insights into the realities of the First World War.
Apr 19, 2015
Feb 01, 2015
Lee Miller: On Both Sides Of The Camera
Coolest woman ever. Although her surrealist cooking adventures were pure Fanny Craddock.
Feb 26, 2008
Dec 30, 2007
Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People
I tackled this book to give myself a more in-depth and well rounded view of Northern Ireland and hopefully be better placed to answer knowledgeably wh ...more
Aug 31, 2008
Aug 05, 2008
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Giving this five stars just because I re-read this so often it's a story that stayed with me. It also fuelled my childhood obsession with Judaism and ...more
not set
Sep 05, 2012
Love and Summer
I'd have marked this higher if I hadn't already read so much William Trevor, as he is very prolific and he does plough the same finely-crafted furrow ...more
Sep 27, 2011
Sep 27, 2011
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