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The Migration
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by Helen Marshall (Goodreads Author)
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Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang
Home Remedies
by Xuan Juliana Wang (Goodreads Author)
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A strong debut collection of short stories. Billed as being specifically about the Chinese millennial experience, but in fact it's rather broader than that; there's nothing about 'unconventional sex lives' or 'fantastic technologies' in here either. ...more
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Plume by Will Wiles
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Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak
Necessary People
by Anna Pitoniak (Goodreads Author)
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This will be a short but very enthusiastic review. Necessary People is a real treat, an absolute delight, and I devoured it in a blissful haze. It's a sophisticated, glossy, smooth-as-silk literary thriller about ambition, rivalry and privilege. Two ...more
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Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
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It's the early 90s, and Paul is a student and bartender immersed in the queer subculture of Iowa City. Paul is also a shapeshifter. He can switch genders (though he almost always thinks of himself as him); can make himself taller/shorter, more mascul ...more
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White by Bret Easton Ellis
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This book has already stirred up controversy – as the author no doubt intended – but a week after reading it, I already find myself without much to say. It's a loosely-strung-together set of essays that are part cultural critique, part rant and part ...more
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The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
The Doll Factory
by Elizabeth Macneal (Goodreads Author)
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I don't read an awful lot of historical fiction unless it has a particular hook that appeals to my tastes (usually horror), and this reminded me why – which, I hasten to add, is not supposed to sound as harsh as it does. This is a good story, just no ...more
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Tales from the Shadow Booth, Vol. 3 by Dan Coxon
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The standout of this anthology is undoubtedly ‘The Cherry Cactus of Corsica’ by Verity Holloway. It's one of those that make you wonder how on earth such an unusual, complex, vivid story could simply spring from someone's imagination. At first, it ap ...more
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Disturbing the Beast by Nici West
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(3.5) Disturbing the Beast, the first book from new independent publisher Boudicca Press, is a short anthology of weird fiction by women. The varied contents raise from creepy historical fiction to contemporary fantasy, and quite a lot of things in b ...more
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The Witnesses Are Gone by Joel Lane
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I first read The Witnesses Are Gone just over a year ago. I loved it, but found it curiously (and fittingly) difficult to review. I didn't get much further than just writing the sentence: 'I am ecstatic with the wonderful discovery of Joel Lane's wor ...more
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Starve Acre by Jonathan  Buckley
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Richard Willoughby took over his parents' farmhouse, Starve Acre, so he and his wife Juliette could start a family, but they have always been regarded as outsiders by the villagers of Stythwaite. Now, their son Ewan is dead and Juliette, mired in gri ...more
More of Blair's books…
“Finally he's beginning to understand that I never had and never will have, not in a million years or more, I can wait until the sun explodes, any interest in his narrow sort of wife-and-child-and-job life. Why, if it prosper, none dare call it life.”
Juliet Lapidos, Talent

Emma Jane Unsworth
“Where were my allies? My sad captains? Those moonsick girls I drank with over long winters behind the bowling alley, driven there in cars we didn't know. Those times when we were all strangers and everything was so far away but all we needed to do was run towards it. I had not grown much. I had not reached anywhere. I was still running. When I wasn't lying down.”
Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals

Emma Jane Unsworth
“These things you treasure, how often they're somebody else's trash.”
Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals

Claude Houghton
“If love is what the world thinks it is," she went on with passionate emphasis, "then I am incapable of it. It is monotony, and I loathe monotony more than anything else in the universe. To live with a person, year in, year out; to see that person at nearly every meal; to hear his opinions again and again! My God, is that what they call love? I call it death! I need passion, colour, the unexpected—the romance of the unknown!”
Claude Houghton, I Am Jonathan Scrivener

Andrew O'Hagan
“I had once asked him if he felt happy hiding in the internet and he said yes, it was his home. On a good day it is the bright field that contains all souls but on a bad day it is the final darkness, where misery is gapingly exposed.”
Andrew O'Hagan, The Secret Life: Three True Stories

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