Category Archives: Fiction

Walkabout in Suffolk

W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn (1995/1998), tr. Michael Hulse. Is this book fiction or non-fiction? memoir or history? travelogue or invention? random stream-of-consciousness or carefully constructed exploration of ideas? Each time I read it, I struggle to understand Sebald’s … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, History, Travel | Tagged | 2 Comments

Any news?

Watch out, friends and colleagues: I plan to start speaking like a true Tillingite, asking “Any news?” when I run into people, and replying with an astonished “No!” if they reveal something gossipy and exciting. My recent trip to Rye made me eager to … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Humorous | Tagged | 4 Comments

“Please lie about this book”

e. lockhart, We Were Liars (2014) This post’s title is what Lockhart wrote when she signed my copy of We Were Liars at her book launch last night. I’m usually willing to comply with authors’ requests, but any lie I told would be a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mystery, YA Lit | Tagged | 5 Comments

Henry Pulling’s Middle Age Crisis

Graham Greene, Travels with My Aunt (1969) Nestled in a playground near my apartment is a Little Free Library, to which I frequently contribute, and from which I frequently borrow, although I’ve yet to return any of the borrowed books. The other … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Fiction, Humorous, Travel book | Tagged | 3 Comments

Beauty is a curse

A review of The Prisoner of Zenda on Calmgrove’s blog inspired today’s post. At his urging, I found a copy of The Heart of Princess Osra, Anthony Hope’s prequel to his dashing Victorian romance about Ruritania. Zenda is set in the late 1800s; Osra 150 years … Continue reading

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Library dreams

Are you the type of reader who envies librarians their workdays spent in the stacks, surrounded by the smell of printer’s ink on yellowed paper? Do you dream of being locked in a library? Do you weep with poor Henry Bemis when … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, YA Lit | Tagged | 2 Comments

Ocean (Dostoyevski) or Cellophane (Vonnegut)?

Breakfast of Champions (1973), Kurt Vonnegut, 303 pp. I have to start with 2 quotes: A sacred picture of Saint Anthony alone is one vertical, unwavering band of light. If a cockroach were near him, or a cocktail waitress, the picture … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Humorous, Travel book | Tagged | 4 Comments

Shops and marriages

Part 2 of my appreciation of Sylvia Townsend Warner: One Thing Leading to Another (1984), Sylvia Townsend Warner This posthumous collection begins with four short stories featuring Mr. Edom, the proprietor of Abbey Antique Galleries, and his invaluable assistant Mr. Collins. … Continue reading

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Dealing with water

A conversation with another blogger reminded me of this author, one of my favorites. So this and the next two days’ posts are resurrected from my other blog. Winter in the Air (1955) and The Innocent and the Guilty (1971), by Sylvia Townsend … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged | 5 Comments