Recently, I mentioned to an author that writing can sometimes seem a trivial and frivolous occupation. She replied that she never thought of it that way. It made me wonder if insecurity about writing is more of a male problem than a female one.
Rather like male film actors who indulge in ‘manly’ excesses to compensate for their lack of self-esteem, there are male writers who embrace a lifestyle based on alcohol or drugs or sex or danger and any combination thereof in order, it seems, to bolster something within themselves that whispers in the night that making up stories is unworthy of real men. Continue reading Raking the Dust – Book Review
Carl Jung’s concept of the Shadow is one of many intertwined and mutually reinforcing themes in Mark Gordon’s complex and absorbing novel.
The Shadow comprises the negative, primitive and morally reprehensible emotions and impulses inaccessible to the conscious mind: among them, lust, greed, envy, rage and the pursuit of power. It is at its most dangerous when habitually repressed and rejected, eventually manifesting itself in mental disturbances such as neurosis, psychosis or irrational hostility.
Continue reading The Snail’s Castle – Book Review
Fred Pooley has returned to London after six years in Hong Kong. He has worked hard and saved a little money, but something is wrong. He can’t settle down, he avoids visiting his mother, and there’s an emptiness inside him.
Petra, a new girlfriend, tries hard to bring Fred out of himself, yet he is irresistibly drawn to his former partner, Sally, and her young daughter. He grows increasingly certain that children are what he needs to fill the void in his life. When he decides to act on that need, he is led imperceptibly into illegality, obsession and self-destruction. Continue reading Mister Spoonface – Book Review
After reading Proud Patrick, I took it into my head to visit Michael O’Reilly’s profile on Goodreads, where I learned that he counts among his main influences, not only writers such as Forster, Hardy, Joyce, Melville, and Shakespeare, but also filmmakers such as Bergman, Cassavetes, Kubrick, Kurosawa, and Lean.
I found this list of luminaries to be intriguing, as I also think of my own writing in terms of film style – not a conscious and deliberate emulation of particular shots and scenes, but the grammar of film and the kinds of dramatic tension that great filmmakers know how to construct.
Continue reading Proud Patrick – Book Review
Title: Thursday’s Child
Author name: Joseph Wurtenbaugh
Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Business Intrigue / Legal Thriller
This is an epic story, seasoned with mystery and romance, of how Adele Elizabeth Jansen’s life transforms slowly but irrevocably after meeting author, poet, polymath, and unrecognized genius, Thomas Newcombe.
Continue reading Editorial Review – Thursday’s Child
Title: A Place of Timeless Harmony
Author: Curt Eriksen
Genre: Literary Fiction
A Place of Timeless Harmony is about a couple, Richard and Sofie, who go on a romantic vacation to the African safari. But they are carrying secrets that are weighing heavily on their hearts, and the two realize that no matter how much they hide from each other, not opening up about the darkness within is only hurting their chance at love.
Continue reading Editorial Review – A Place of Timeless Harmony
Title: Choose: Snakes or Ladders
Author: Sally Forest
Genre: Literary Fiction
This rich, sensually-driven literary novel takes readers back to the 1950s, when women were just starting to enter the work-force alongside men on a more regular basis. The story follows Mitty Bedford, a typist who recently graduated with her certificate and has landed a job in the real world. Living on her own for the first time, she embarks on a journey of self-exploration in life, love, and her own sexuality.
Continue reading Editorial Review – Choose: Snakes or Ladders
Hagseed by Margaret Atwood
Date Completed: 5/25/2017
I jumped into this book knowing nothing about it, but that I had heard good things. I found that approach worked really well for me, so if you’d prefer, don’t read this, just know that you have my recommendation.
Continue reading Hagseed – Book Review
I review The Burning Girl by Claire Messud.
Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship.
Continue reading The Burning Girl – Book Review
Perfume, The Story of A Murderer by Patrick Süskind
This books full title is Perfume, The Story of a Murderer which is a very accurate description. However, the title in itself is also ambiguous. How is something so inconspicuous as perfume associated with the violence of murder?
The story straight away won me over because it is set in eighteenth century Paris. For me there is no better era to set a book; why pick anything else? Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born into the most stench filled place on earth, a Paris slum, but he has the most sublime gift, an absolute sense of smell. He can smell everything, things that to you and me have no odour whatsoever. Not only that, he can remember every smell and he catalogues each carefully away in his mind to create the most exquisite perfumes.
Continue reading Perfume, The Story of a Murderer – Book Review