The misleadingly titled Life of an Unknown Man is in fact the story of two men, and the dualities that their characters embody — fame and anonymity, unhappiness and happiness, West and East.
If it had been possible to listen to Howard Jacobson’s brilliant Booker Prize-short- listed novel in one sitting I would happily have done so; but even on motorways congested to the point of strangulation, a return journey from Chipping Norton to Brighton has yet to take 13 hours.
Never eat at restaurants where they picture the food on the menu. Steer clear of books which explain the characters in a glossary. If you have to give your customers an idea in advance of what to expect, then it follows that your cooking/narrative may not be up to scratch.
This is the fifth in C. J. Sansom’s engrossing series of Tudor crime novels.
If we didn’t already know that Milan Kundera is one of Craig Raine’s literary heroes, then it wouldn’t be too hard to work it out from his first novel.
If only E. M. Forster hadn’t beaten him to it by exactly a century, Jonathan Coe could have coined the enigmatic phrase ‘only connect’ in this novel.
Catharine is a middle-class, married woman in her late thirties living in a genteel village an hour from London with her husband, a successful lawyer, who nicknames her ‘Catch’.
When I was about half way through Little Hands Clapping, Dan Rhodes’s fifth published book, I started a list of the innocent characters on whom fate and their author play nasty tricks.
With Blood’s a Rover James Ellroy finally finishes his ‘Underworld USA’ trilogy.
For a crime writer, success comes with its dark side.