REVIEW: THE GRIP OF IT, BY JAC JEMC (2017) (OR, HORROR NOVELS vs. HORROR FILMS)

James and Julie Khoury are in love. When James confesses to Julie that he's developed a serious gambling problem, they decide to move from the city to a small town, in the hopes it'll give him/them a fresh start. They find the perfect house: spacious, near the woods, and near a lake as well. Except—things … Continue reading REVIEW: THE GRIP OF IT, BY JAC JEMC (2017) (OR, HORROR NOVELS vs. HORROR FILMS)

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SEVERED HEAD, BY HUGH LUPTON (2018)

The year is 1211. Severed heads wash up on the shoreline near the small monastic outpost at Clynnog Fawr, in Wales. The heads have had their hair shaved off at the top and in front, which suggests they're bards. The monks quickly figure out that there must have been a massacre at the Bardic School … Continue reading REVIEW: THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SEVERED HEAD, BY HUGH LUPTON (2018)

REVIEW: WOMAN AT SEA, BY CATHERINE POULAIN, TRANSLATED BY ADRIANA HUNTER (2018)

Woman at Sea is a novel that wastes no time. When we first meet her, on page 1, Lili has already packed he bags. She's French, she lives in France, in a town she calls "Manosque-les-Sorrow", but she's off to Alaska, "to the ends of the earth, the limitless oceans, to the glassy calm and … Continue reading REVIEW: WOMAN AT SEA, BY CATHERINE POULAIN, TRANSLATED BY ADRIANA HUNTER (2018)

REVIEW: WRESTLIANA, BY TOBY LITT (2018)

Toby Litt is a novelist. His great-great-great grandfather, William Litt, was a novelist and a champion wrestler. William Litt wrote a book titled Wrestliana. It came out in 1823, and it was the first book ever written and published about wrestling—its history, theory, and practice, and why it's better than all other sports. Toby Litt also wrote a book … Continue reading REVIEW: WRESTLIANA, BY TOBY LITT (2018)

REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

When I finished reading Olga Tokarczuk's Flights, I immediately found a spot for it on my shelves, between Season of Migration to the North and Naondel. And suddenly I was truck by how small an object it is. It spans so many topics and countries and centuries that it should be Atlas-sized, or several volumes … Continue reading REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

REVIEW: MALACQUA, BY NICOLA PUGLIESE, TRANSLATED BY SHAUN WHITESIDE (2017)

Naples. It's raining, and it doesn't look it'll ever stop. The streets flood, a sinkhole forms in Via Tasso, a building collapses in Via Aniello Falcone. The sinkhole kills two people, the building five. Disquieting sounds (something like this, perhaps) resonate from the castle in the city centre. Creepy dolls appear in the most unexpected … Continue reading REVIEW: MALACQUA, BY NICOLA PUGLIESE, TRANSLATED BY SHAUN WHITESIDE (2017)

NON-REVIEW: TRICK, BY DOMENICO STARNONE, TRANSLATED BY JHUMPA LAHIRI (2018)

Daniele is a grumpy old man and professional illustrator living in Milan. His daughter asks him to look after his four-year-old grandson Mario for four days, in the Neapolitan apartment where she lives with her family and where Daniele himself was born. Daniele agrees, reluctantly, but he doesn't particularly like Mario. Mario himself is annoyingly … Continue reading NON-REVIEW: TRICK, BY DOMENICO STARNONE, TRANSLATED BY JHUMPA LAHIRI (2018)

REVIEW: HOLD (aka HOUSEGIRL), BY MICHAEL DONKOR (2018)

Belinda, seventeen, and Mary, eleven, are servant-girls for a well-to-do retired couple in Kumasi, Ghana. Amma, also seventeen, is a British-Ghanaian girl living in London: she used to be such a good daughter, but lately something's gotten into her, she's been moody, at best uncommunicative and at worst full of "rude cheekiness", to use her … Continue reading REVIEW: HOLD (aka HOUSEGIRL), BY MICHAEL DONKOR (2018)

REVIEW: LOVE, BY HANNE ØRSTAVIK, TRANSLATED BY MARTIN AITKEN (2018)

Female characters tend not to win literary awards. This according to data collected by novelist Nicola Griffith (who happens to have written one of my favourite books of all time, Hild). I don't know if Sarah Hall (who happens to be one of my favourite authors of all time) knew this when she said, in … Continue reading REVIEW: LOVE, BY HANNE ØRSTAVIK, TRANSLATED BY MARTIN AITKEN (2018)