Anonymous caller: This Plague of Souls, by Mike McCormack, reviewed

Mike McCormack is much garlanded. He won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature with his first collection of stories; the Goldsmith’s Prize followed in 2016, along with the Irish Book of the Year Award and the International Dublin Literary Award, for his novel Solar Bones. A book-length, single- sentence analysis of a man’s life, that story sprang off the page with the force of a blow.  This Plague of Souls, his fifth novel, is more distanced. Not a story with a beginning, middle and end, it circles in widening gyres, swooping now and then on to a tightly focused moment as its ambiguous hero tries to make sense of an

A topsy-turvy world: Peaces, by Helen Oyeyemi, reviewed

At a village train station in deepest Kent two men and their pet mongoose are setting off on their honeymoon. The men are Otto and Xavier Shin and the mongoose is Árpád Montague XXX; the train is the Lucky Day — a former tea-smuggler’s transportation, now home to a mysterious woman named Ava Kapoor. They do not know who she is or where they are heading. Nonetheless they embark, happy in the knowledge that anything could happen. Readers familiar with Helen Oyeyemi will already feel at home. Playful, otherworldly and sinister, her novels tend to inhabit a fairy-tale world of wicked stepmothers, haunted houses and run-away children. Mr Fox cannibalised