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Showing posts from December, 2011

Crushed Mexican Spiders by Tibor Fischer

Just who Fischer thinks he is, first attacking Martin Amis and then telling me, his earnest reviewer, that “...most books reviews aren't very well-written. They tend to be more about the reviewer than the book,” is an interesting question, and, frankly, one I don’t care much for. Me. I don’t care. I have other views too, which may or may not come out in the course of this review of a double-header by Fischer from the wonderful, wonderful people at Unbound. Okay, so I’m stuck in 2003, but then it was a nice place to be, with anticipation building at getting my hands on first a proof of Yellow Dog and then a pristine signed copy of Voyage To The End Of The Room. After 2003 it all felt a bit of a letdown, with the bathetic release of both to muted praise and fierce criticism.
Still, I must focus on pastures new and not on muddy old fields.
A quick word (you know what that means) about Unbound. The theory or model is that by securing an agreed level of support from the public, that is y…

The One from the Other by Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is an author I have been reluctant to attempt to review for some time. His Berlin Noir trilogy cost me some hours of sleeplessness and in the end I decided to skip a review and just be happy to have read it and therefore move it from the pile of unread novels, via the edge of my desk where the “to review” pile occasionally falls over on to the typewriter and spills my pen pot across the floor and thus causes significant risks when stumbling blindly about the room at night too drunk to remember where my bed is or having just been jolted awake by the boy shrieking from the next room and running asleep into walls and doors, to the back half of my giant Ikea bookcase where novels that have been read and have caused my self-esteem to shatter on the diamond-hard edges of someone else’s talent currently reside, gathering dust and moisture until hitting the mildew tipping point and becoming physically dangerous in their own right. This awesome crew consists mainly of Will Self, Jo…

The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell

Straight off the bat, and perhaps therefore to sport my oak somewhat, I should mention that this review borrows heavily from an interview with Alden Bell (aka Joshua Gaylord) posted in August of 2010 at FantasyBookReview.com and, in all honesty, you may prefer just to go there and read it, rather than heroically struggle on through the desolate wasteland of this entry. Go on, I give you permission.
Still here? Then on with the story (to borrow from Barth).
There has been a glut of late* (or at least two I can think of without straining myself) of post-apocalyptic novels winning acclaim etc and so on - Rhys Thomas’s On The Third Day is worthy of a mention just because he’s a local (in the sense that he comes from round my way), and The Road is always worth squeezing into a blog entry as any mention of Cormac McCarthy guarantees a load of misdirected hits from America. Different from dystopian novels, but singing from the same hymn sheet, they maroon an identifiably contemporary characte…