Posts Tagged “Books”

Review: Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

by Stephen Tall on October 19, 2016

Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro This is the fourth novel plucked from my #40booksby40 list. I’m going to start with the one negative: reading a collection of short stories one after the other isn’t (at least for me) a great (…)

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Review: Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald

by Stephen Tall on October 5, 2016

Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald This is the third novel plucked from my my #40booksby40 list. Fitzgerald’s been on my should-read list for ages. A Booker Prize-winner (beating Naipaul, Keneally) whose first book was published when she was 58, recently biographed by (…)

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Review: Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

by Stephen Tall on September 30, 2016

Slaughterhouse 5, or The Children’s Crusade – A Duty-dance with Death, Kurt Vonnegut Second up on my my #40booksby40 list. Friends had told me I’d love it — this classic, post-war, anti-war, semi-autobiographical, absurdist novel — that it’s a quick, (…)

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Review: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

by Stephen Tall on September 23, 2016

The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton And so I plunged in. For no particular reason, I selected The Age of Innocence as the first from my #40booksby40 list. It turned out to be a strangely apt mid-life choice, all about (…)

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40 novels I aim to read by the time I’m 40

by Stephen Tall on September 12, 2016

Embed from Getty Images In six months’ time I turn 40. This isn’t a total shock – the previous 39 birthdays have prepared me pretty well for the eventuality – but it is an unignorable milestone. I don’t have a (…)

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Review: This Boy by Alan Johnson

by Stephen Tall on October 25, 2015

This Boy, Alan Johnson I’m late to the party on this, but what a fascinating memoir. Frank Skinner made the point in his own (brilliant) autobiography that you usually spend the first few chapters as a reader thinking to yourself (…)

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Review: DI Jack Frost series (Books 1-6) by R.D. Wingfield

by Stephen Tall on August 2, 2015

I didn’t approach R.D. Wingfield’s DI Jack Frost series with any great enthusiasm. I’d seen enough of ITV’s Sunday night schedule-filler, with David Jason in the title role, to assume it would be lightweight, middlebrow, plodding fare, with signposted comic (…)

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Review: Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith

by Stephen Tall on July 8, 2015

Ripley Under Ground, Patricia Highsmith I loved the chutzpah of Matt Damon’s Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) so was curious to see how it translated into this follow-up, the second in Patricia Highsmith’s ‘Ripliad’ quintet. Ripley has (…)

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Review: The Collini Case by Ferdinand von Schirach

by Stephen Tall on May 28, 2015

The Collini Case, Ferdinand von Schirach (trans. Anthea Bell) Not many novels are cited by a government-appointed committee to reappraise the mark left on the German ministry of justice by its Nazi past. What is as remarkable is that, for (…)

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Review: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

by Stephen Tall on May 27, 2015

The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters Sarah Waters is my favourite British novelist, even if (maybe because) she’s never quite pulled off the trick of convincing the Lit-Crit Establishment that there’s a whole lot more to her than accomplished Victorian (or (…)

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