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Books of Note

The Vorrh by Brian Catling

There are some books on which I find myself taking a weary chance purely by the weight of Amazonian algorithmic pressure. This is by no means a good reason to buy a book (although what better reason is there to buy one other than there is a book there to buy?) but at 99p an electronic book is easily discarded if it fails to grip. And ths one kept coming up on Amazon, over and over. And over. I grew to hate its cover, the name, the single initial forename of the author. I was in fact dead set against enjoying or even being fair-handed in criticism of the book when finally I turned the first virtual page. 

Prejudice isn't strong enough to describe the feeling.

HOWEVER (in capitals so it's shouty and unavoidable) disregard everything I've said above. 99p is an absolute bargain for this (although I intend to purchase a hard copy when funds allow). It is ineffable, but I will attempt something of a review to give you an idea of why you should drop everything and buy a copy of thi…
Recent posts

The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

Sucker's Portfolio by Kurt Vonnegut

Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright

The Ambassador by Bragi Ólafsson

The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, by Jeff VanderMeer

As I sit and contemplate the inclement weather currently freezing my car to the driveway, I reflect that it's not often I can claim to be ahead of the curve, whether by accident or design. And I still can't. However, it seems I found Jeff VanderMeer at an opportune moment.

A quick shout out here to indie bookshop Griffin Books of Penarth for getting all three volumes for me in record time. Good work team! 

I discovered the short trailer for Annihilation on Twitter (much better than the official one, with fewer 'monsters' and more suspense) and was instantly captivated by the visuals. Now, I don't and won't pay for Netflix, and am very annoyed with Paramount Studios for their rather mercenary short-sightedness over not releasing the film adaptation, written and directed by Alex Garland, into cinemas outside the US and China, but it did allow me to burn through the trilogy without fear of my own interpretation being corrupted by the cinematic filter of a big budget…

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Fairyland by Paul McAuley

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes

The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

Yah, so, of course I’ve left too long between reading and reviewing once again, leaving myself little scope to write anything profound or shocking, or even remotely truthful, without recourse to the book itself, now gathering dust and a creeping blue mould on the shelf above the permanently cold storage heater in my bedroom (a good six or so miles from where I sit taking the opportunity to distract myself from a post-prandial slump and slack supervision).
But when has that ever stopped me?
Big and brash, ranging from art to science with major meandering asides into ontology, epistemology, and the character of space and time, Wray’s disjointed family chronicle is fun to read for the most part, if ultimately dissatisfying. Waldemar Toula has become estranged from the linear narrative of time somehow, trapped in a version of his dead aunts’ labyrinthine New York apartment-cum-mausoleum of lost things and visited occasionally by his uncle (or great-uncle? I can’t remember) and namesake, Wal…

Acceptance: The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 3 by Jeff VanderMeer