Tag: joseph surtees

BOOK REVIEW: A Legacy Of Spies by John le Carré

They say you can never cross the same river twice. That’s an aphorism tested to destruction by John le Carre in his latest, A legacy of Spies. As he so often has, le Carre is returning to familiar characters in the novel, Guillam, Smiley, but there is more than that here. Rather than just characters,

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BOOK REVIEW: Outskirts by John Grindrod

Outskirts is probably the most touching book about urban planning you’ll ever read. Ostensibly it’s a history of that misunderstood, yet controversial feature of the British landscape, the green belt. Taking the reader through the history of this sometimes loved but mainly hated feature of our landscape, it explains the somewhat confused heritage of that

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BOOK REVIEW: The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

The things we thought we knew is the debut novel by Bristol Short Story Prize 2014 winner Mahsuda Snaith. It is the story of eighteen year old Ravine, trapped in bed by chronic pain syndrome. She spends her time replaying in her head the events that led to the disappearance of her childhood best friend

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BOOK REVIEW: Addlands by Tom Bullough

It took me two attempts to grasp Addlands, Tom Bullough’s fourth novel. In many ways that’s surprising because the book it most resembles is one of my favourites, On the black hill by Bruce Chatwin. Like Chatwin’s novel Addlands is set in a welsh farming community and concerned with how an insular life can provide

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BOOK REVIEW: Stasiland: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

There has been a revival of interest in soviet-era East Germany over the past decade or so. Films such as Goodbye Lenin and the Oscar winning The Lives of Others, and television series such as (the criminally underrated) Deutschland 83 have explored what life was like for those living behind the wall. The book that

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BOOK REVIEW: Don’t be a Dick Pete by Stuart Heritage

If you’re an only child, congratulations – you’ve done well. Siblings are an unending shitstorm of abuse and embarrassment. That’s the case even when your brothers and sisters are vastly inferior to you, as in my case. Don’t be dick, Pete is Guardian journalist Stuart Heritage’s article of impeachment against his younger brother. It lists

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BOOK REVIEW: Dalila by Jason Donald

Dalila by Jason Donald is a very relevant novel. It follows the eponymous lead in her journey as an asylum seeker from Kenya to the United Kingdom. Each stage of a refugee’s journey is covered, from the initial flight from horror to the cold and brutal bureaucracy of the asylum process. During the wearying process

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BOOK REVIEW: The Correspondence by J.D.Daniels

Like cakes at a primary school fête The Correspondence by J.D.Daniels is of variable consistency. Described as a series of letters, the book is a collection of short stories. They are interlinked through their preoccupations, the ideas on which they focus, religion, disillusionment, the search for meaning in an increasingly fractured world. The central character

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BOOK REVIEW: The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjork

What explains the continuing popularity of Scandinavian noir crime fiction? There must be something inside us that craves the dark and disturbing, feels the need to be exposed to the grim and foul, the touch of evil. I suppose this explains the continuing appears of Piers Morgan on our TV screens. The owl always hunts

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BOOK REVIEW: Cove by Cynan Jones

When you’re young, from time to time, in hope, you head into the garden and start digging. You believe, in absence of advice, that at some point you will reach the other side of the earth. Eventually you will be disappointed, but in continuance hope is infinite. To me, that feeling was captured, contained, in

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