Tag Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Theme and Variation: Julian Barnes’ The Noise of Time

Barnes, Julian. The Noise of Time. Random House Canada, 2016. This, too, was a novel I borrowed from the library and which had to be returned. It’s not a particularly long book and is, as is often the case with Barnes’ work, … Continue reading

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A Sparkling Wit. Penelope Lively’s The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

Lively, Penelope. The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories. Penguin, 2016. As I think I’ve noted before, short stories are not always my favourite genre to read. They’re just too short. However, the form’s very brevity means that the good short story … Continue reading

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Singing in a not so minor key: Jennifer Ryan’s The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

Ryan, Jennifer. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. Broadway Books, 2017.  How best to describe this book? That is a hard question to answer. It’s a very good read, something of a page-turner and other clichés. But it’s much more than that because … Continue reading

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“A Mysterious Buzz.” Fatal Leaps in Bradley Somer’s Fishbowl.

Somer, Bradley. Fishbowl. St. Martin’s, 2015. This novel, (is it a novel?) is the not so tragic story of Ian the goldfish who takes a “perilous plunge from his bowl on the twenty-seventh floor balcony” (5) of an apartment building, … Continue reading

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Arriving Here. Ali Smith’s Winter

Smith, Ali. Winter. Penguin Canada, 2017. Opening Ali Smith’s Winter reveals quotations from Shakespeare, Barbara Hepworth, Theresa May, Muriel Spark, and Charles Dickens and surely gives advance notice that once again Smith will be leading her readers on a crazy paving … Continue reading

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Adjusting Focus: Joanna Trollope’s City of Friends

Trollope, Joanna. City of Friends. Mantle, 2017. ebook. City of Friends is Joanna Trollope’s twentieth novel. She is, I suppose, known primarily for what we might call “women’s fiction.” Certainly, many of her novels deal with what some readers may feel are … Continue reading

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Surviving the Past-Building the Future: Andrew Taylor’s The Ashes of London

Taylor, Andrew. The Ashes of London. Harper 2016. I’m fairly sure this is the first novel I’ve read by Andrew Taylor. I’m wondering how I’ve managed not to have met his work before. The Ashes of London is a who-dunnit … Continue reading

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