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Search results

  1. Shade

    Don DeLillo: Falling Man

    Another September 11 novel. Soon they will have an area to themselves in bookstores, perhaps alongside the Misery Memoirs section. (My local Waterstone’s does have one of those, in fact called Painful Pasts. I suppose it’s an act of humanity, aimed at decontaminating the rest of the Biography...
  2. Shade

    Gore Vidal: Point to Point Navigation

    If ever your life feels a little thin or uneventful, blame Gore Vidal. He's had enough event and diversion in his life for five or six of us, and he keeps making us feel even worse by not only telling us about them in superbly written memoirs, but looking out of the cover at us all handsome and...
  3. Shade

    Borat

    Or to give it its full title (which doesn't fit into the title bar) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Now then: we headed out last night to see the multiply eulogised Pan's Labyrinth, only to find out local independent cinema with its doors...
  4. Shade

    Book of the Month Changes

    I welcome the clarification of the Book of the Month rules in the new sticky that Stewart and mehastings have put together. I don't know if you're taking suggestions, but... I think it would be worthwhile to consider having a rule that in any given month, each member may nominate only one...
  5. Shade

    Nathanael West: Miss Lonelyhearts / A Cool Million

    Nathanael West is one of the ones that got away. Born in 1903, he died in 1940 when he crashed his car on return from his honeymoon, leaving four short works of fiction. His best known is The Day of the Locust (1939), a satire on Hollywood which I haven't read, and which is usually packaged in...
  6. Shade

    Darwin Award Nominees

    A thread for us to post occasional incidents in the news which show the best of natural selection at work, with people who selflessly try to remove themselves from the gene pool to avoid their stupidity from being passed down to future generations. Here's one who narrowly missed it. A...
  7. Shade

    Welcome Stewart, O Senior Moderator

    Good luck with the new role, Stewart! Now you can be the recipient of complaints instead of the instigator... :p
  8. Shade

    Milorad Pavic

    (Actually it's Milorad Pavić, but if I call him that then this thread won't show up if anyone types Pavic. I said if.) Milorad Pavic is a Serbian writer who is undoubtedly one of the most ... um, original and idiosyncratic voices I've ever experienced. I must like it though, as I've now...
  9. Shade

    The Ice Man (back cover text)

    This is the back cover text of The Ice Man, as kindly provided to me by Peder. It's secondary to this discussion, and I've placed it in its own 18-certificate thread to ensure people have adequate warning before reading it. Myself, I don't think it particularly warrants such certification, but...
  10. Shade

    Hard-to-see Links

    I was reminded of this issue by this thread. And if you didn't realise that the word 'this' in my previous sentence was a link to another thread, then you've got the problem in a nutshell. Most forums make hyperlinks a distinguishing colour from the rest of the text so that they're easy to...
  11. Shade

    Jeanette Winterson: Tanglewreck

    Tanglewreck, just published,demonstrates effectively that Jeanette Winterson's most notable features as a writer - lyrical prose, and a lofty disdain for straightforward storytelling in favour of impassioned 'spiral narratives' - don't necessarily lend themselves to the demands of children's...
  12. Shade

    James Wilcox: Modern Baptists

    James Wilcox's first novel, Modern Baptists, in the UK has been issued as one of those unreasonably handsome Penguin Modern Classics, and a particularly fine example of the design genius that gives them a good name (well, in my house anyway). And it's really rather good. It should be, given...
  13. Shade

    George Saunders: In Persuasion Nation

    I got through George Saunders' new collection, In Persuasion Nation (bundled in the UK with his 2005 novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, and issued under the latter title) probably as quickly as I did with his previous collection Pastoralia, in a day or so. This might weigh against...
  14. Shade

    Gilbert Adair: Buenas Noches Buenos Aires

    It is possible, I suppose, to miss the cleverness of Gilbert Adair's Buenas Noches Buenos Aires, as one Amazon reviewer has, and dismiss it as crude, banal and filled with unsympathetic characters. But the observant reader will note the clues which demand that we treat the narrator with...
  15. Shade

    J.L. Carr: A Month in the Country

    This slight, superb novel must count as the shortest ever shortlistee for the Booker Prize, at 85 pages. In the year of publication, 1980, it also won the Guardian Fiction Prize (since discontinued in favour of the Guardian First Book Award). So why isn't it better known? Was its success too...
  16. Shade

    Amanda Prantera

    I'm currently enjoying Amanda Prantera's 1996 novel Zoe Trope (a sequel of sorts to her earlier novel, Proto Zoe: yes, the woman should really be called Amanda Pun-terror), and as I expect she's a name not many are familiar with, to fill in the gaps let me append my Amazon review of her...
  17. Shade

    Your Top Ten Books of 2005

    They don't have to have been published in 2005, so long as you first read them this year... 1. Small Island, Andrea Levy 2. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert 3. Collected Stories, Richard Yates 4. Explorers of the New Century, Magnus Mills 5. Mobius Dick, Andrew Crumey 6. Never Let...
  18. Shade

    Little Britain

    Three years after everyone else got into it, and having only seen bits of it before now, I've just watched my first complete Little Britain and I am speechless (well, not quite) with just how awful it was. There was not a single moment in it that made me smile and several which made me so...
  19. Shade

    Nick Cann: Jake's Eulogy

    I picked up this book when the author was doing a signing in a local bookshop: there was nobody else about and I kind of felt sorry for him... Anyway, we chatted briefly as he was signing it and he asked me if I read a lot, to which I replied Yes I do, and he gave me a card and asked me to email...
  20. Shade

    Kevin Lewis: Kaitlyn

    Kevin Lewis, for those ignorant of his oeuvre, is the British Dave Pelzer, author of a book on his terrible abused childhood. Whereas Pelzer has so far strung his story out into four (or is it five?) books, Lewis's The Kid (with its identikit Pelzer-like cover) did well but the follow-up, Moving...
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