Day: June 5, 2016

Literature Reviews

Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

Well, one day I may well get around to writing proper reviews of these masterpieces after all, too. But until then, quite unapologetically, my Goodreads Celebrity Death Match Review Elimination Tournament entry will have to do … Huck Finn vs. Atticus Finch, or: Goodreads Celebrity Death Match Elimination Tournament Review – The Adventures of Huckleberry […]

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Literature Reviews

E.M. Forster: Howards End

Homecomings Most of us connect the notion of “home” or “childhood home” with one particular place, that innocent paradise we have since had to give up and keep searching for forever after. In Ruth Wilcox’s world, Howards End is that place; the countryside house where she was born, where her family often returns to spend […]

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Literature Reviews

Joseph O’Connor, Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Frank McCourt, et al: Yeats Is Dead!

“Yeats is dead?” O yes. Well, of course he is; in fact, has been for some 60 years now. But that’s not the point. The point is, or at least seems to be, that “Yeats Is Dead!” is the unpublished last work of the doyen of Irish literature himself, James Joyce. Or is it? Or […]

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Literature Reviews

Dermot Bolger, Maeve Binchy, Emma Donoghue, Clare Boylan, et al.: Ladies’ Night at Finbar’s Hotel

Chick Lit, or a Victim of Sequelitis? An old adage says that some good things are better left alone – and I’ve certainly found this to be true here, because although this “Finbar” sequel was devised and edited by Dermot Bolger, who also oversaw the original project, I cared decidedly less for this book than […]

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Literature Reviews

Dermot Bolger, Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín, et al.: Finbar’s Hotel

Longing for love and lost memories in an old Dublin hotel. It’s not exactly Dublin’s first address, the old Finbar’s Hotel on Victoria Quay, overlooking the River Liffey and opposite the palazzo structure of Heuston (erstwhile Kingsbridge) Railway Station – but it’s a place with both character and history: It has survived a fire, among […]

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Literature Reviews

Emma Donoghue: Slammerkin

11 lost days, and a whole lost life to follow. With 1751’s Calendar Reform Act, Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar implemented elsewhere in 1582; resulting in the elimination of 11 days between September 2 and 14, 1752. The edict, viewed as more than a mere alteration in the calculation of time, caused widespread riots; grounded […]

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Literature Reviews

Michael Connelly: Angels Flight

Gripping and true to detail. I read this book on the flight to the U.S. which initiated my move to this country several years ago. Having spent a couple of months in L.A. in 1991 just prior to the first Rodney King trial (which was to spark the upheaval this book, in part, draws on), […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Miss Marple – The Complete Short Stories

Dear Aunt Jane’s Shorter Cases “Miss Marple insinuated herself so quickly into my life that I hardly noticed her arrival,” Agatha Christie wrote in her posthumously-published autobiography (1977) about the elderly lady who, next to Belgian super-sleuth Hercule Poirot, quickly became one of her most beloved characters. Somewhat resembling Christie‘s own grandmother and her friends, […]

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Literature Reviews

Dermot Bolger: Night Shift

A ghost train ride through Dublin’s nightly underbelly. “I’ve been riding on a ghost train where the cars, they scream and slam; and I don’t know where I’ll be tonight, but I’d always tell you where I am.” Mark Knopfler: “Tunnel of Love.” It’s a dull, dumbing and exhaustive routine, that night shift at the […]

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Literature Reviews

Sherman Alexie: The Toughest Indian in the World

Stories that make you think. Sherman Alexie’s narratives in The Toughest Indian in the World combine the author’s matter-of-fact, understated style with his edgy humor, irony and passion. The result is a collection of short stories (with numerous subplots) which will always make you think, sometimes make you laugh, and sometimes make you get angry. […]

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