Over the last few years, Owen Hatherley has established himself as one of the brightest young cultural commentators in the UK and while most of his recent work (including last year’s excellent Landscapes of Communism) has focussed on architecture and the built environment, his latest book, The Ministry of Nostalgia, can be seen almost as a companion piece to his first.
Luz and Ray, the protagonists of Claire Vaye Watkins’s excellent new novel, Gold Fame Citrus, are a pair of feckless young lovers: she a former model of middling celebrity, he an army deserter, both damaged in their own ways by dark personal hinterlands that each conceals from the other. Continue reading →
Knut Hamsun’s 1890 novel Hunger, recently republished by Canongate as part of their Canons series, is one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, arguably the first great novel of the 20th century. Continue reading →
To mark St. Patrick’s day, I thought I’d write a short post about an intriguing new book that arrived in the shop last week. The Dirty Dust, or
Cré na Cille, by Máirtín Ó Cadhain has been described by Colm Tóibín as ‘the greatest novel to be written in the Irish language, and among the best books to come out of Ireland in the twentieth century.’ Continue reading →
One of my New Year’s resolutions in 2015 was to write more for this blog, but here we are, over halfway through March, and this is my first post of the year, so it’s fair to say that that particular resolution is not going especially well. This is because, unfortunately, most of the new novels I’ve
read so far this year have failed to inspire me sufficiently to share my thoughts about them on here.
I’m sure the Germans must have a word for it: that sense that some people are hogging more than their fair share of talent and inspiration; the suspicion that certain individuals have smuggled oversized plates into the all-you-can-eat restaurant of human talent and have set themselves up at the tables closest to the buffet. Continue reading →