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Tag: novel

  • A God In Ruins

    My wife gave me this book after we inadvertently used it to teach Destroyer to swear on a car journey. It’s the story of Teddy Todd, an RAF airman in the second world War, flying bombers to raid Germany. But perhaps really its an achingly sad, beautifully written meditation on death, kindness, and failed hope.

  • Altered Carbon

    Altered Carbon

    One of my resolutions this year was to read more books but what with swimming and juggling and climbing, that has rather fallen by the wayside. It was only by the serendipitous delay in getting through Immigration at Kuala Lumpur International yesterday (45 minutes flying time, 1 hour standing in a queue) that I had […]

  • Kennedy For The Defence

    As holiday reading goes, George V Higgins may not be everyone’s first choice. When you’re sitting on the beach, do you want to read about rainy Boston and a succession of people swearing at one another and about one another? Well, it turns out I do, so Kennedy For The Defence, a book that feels […]

  • Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

    Last night I finished reading Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, a novel by a Buzzfeed writer that would have been a lot more enjoyable if it had been just the first chapter. There’s some interesting ideas in there and some wilfully amusing abuses of science, but pretty quickly the plot degenerates into this-happened-and-then-this-happened-and-then-this-happened, as though […]

  • The Sympathizer

    Today I finished The Sympathizer, another of the books I discovered via the bookshop in Suvarbharmi Airport. It was really strong, even if the last chapters seemed to fade in strength – or perhaps that was my own fatigue.  The Sympathizer is about a double agent in the South Vietnamese secret police, eventually escaping to […]

  • Hanggliding Over Volcanoes

    About four months ago, I gave one of my old friends a floppy disc, one of those archaic, flimsy ways to transfer data from the last century. He vanished back to the depths of Kent with it, I flew back to Singapore and didn’t hear another word from him for months. That made me sad.

  • The Road To Ruin

    Tonight I finished reading The Road To Ruin, which I assumed was the last Dortmunder novel Donald Westlake ever wrote, but was actually succeeded by three more. While not a classic on par with his earlier work, it was still a pleasant diversion.

  • At End Of Day

    Today I read At End Of Day, George V Higgins’ final novel. At its simplest, this is a story of two Boston gangsters, conspiring with members of the FBI to put other criminals in jail while continuing their own operations. Like other Higgins novels I’ve read, that bare synopsis does it no justice; there’s a […]