Tag Archives: Contemporary Fiction

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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Facing the Tide: Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises

Drabble, Margaret. The Dark Flood Rises. Farrar, 2016. The title of Margaret Drabble’s latest novel comes from D. H. Lawrence’s “The Ship of Death,” and the work is prefaced by two lines from this poem and by Yeats’ “The Wheel” … Continue reading

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The Proper(?) Imposition of Words: Iain Pears’ An Instance of the Fingerpost

Pears, Iain. An Instance of the Fingerpost. [1997] Vintage, 1998. I can’t believe it’s twenty years since I first read this novel. Trite phrases about the passing of time come easily to mind. The novel pleased me then. It pleased … Continue reading

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The Pity of Shadows: John Le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies

Le Carré, John. A Legacy of Spies.Viking, 2017.  A lot of us would agree, no doubt, that John Le Carré’s novels set in the cold war are some of his best, and, perhaps, you are like me in regretting the … Continue reading

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Whispers From the Past: Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind

Ruiz Zafón, Carlos. The Shadow of the Wind. 2001. Trans. Lucia Graves. Penguin, 2004. Ruiz Zafón’s novel is possibly the work I’ve enjoyed most so far this year, though I’m not exactly sure that “enjoy” is quite the appropriate verb. … Continue reading

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Making Repairs: Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove

Backman, Fredrik. A Man Called Ove. 2012. Trans. Henning Koch. Washington Square P, 2014. A few years ago, A Man Called Ove topped the New York Times best seller list. I’m not surprised. This is what I can only call … Continue reading

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The Ambiguity of Grey: David R Gillham’s City of Women

Gillham, David, R. City of Women, Putnams, 2012.  Berlin 1943 is a city of women. The majority of the men are involved in the war in some capacity. Sigrid’s Schröder’s bank employee husband is at the Eastern Front while Sigrid … Continue reading

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