Book Reviews

The Big Sleep

Luke McGrath | Posted 10.07.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

In truth, the plot of the novel is only marginally relevant. It's purposefully loose and messy, something Chandler makes no apology for. The real genius is in the atmosphere of mystery, double-dealing and noir that the author builds with every turning page.

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte (Review)

Luke McGrath | Posted 07.03.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is a novel so well-known that its name is often enough to evoke a sense of gothic nostalgia in readers. It's a book t...

Five Best Parenting Books You've Never Heard Of

Michelle McHale | Posted 27.01.2017 | UK Parents
Michelle McHale

Is your bedside table stacked with books or muslins and wet wipes!? We've kept it so simple that we only chose five top books, the first of which is, in itself, the only book you might ever need. The rest have terrific value and can be referred to time and again.

Emma By Jane Austen (Review)

Luke McGrath | Posted 27.01.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

The idea of reading Jane Austen tends to split readers into those who will read her over and over, and those, like me, who've never been interested. S...

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd (Review)

Luke McGrath | Posted 03.01.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

As a Poirot and Agatha Christie fan, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the first novel on my to-read list that I have read before. Probably more than twi...

Book Review: Tabish Khair, Just Another Jihadi Jane And Tariq Mehmood, Song Of Gulzarina

Claire Chambers | Posted 20.12.2016 | UK Entertainment
Claire Chambers

Since 9/11 and the onset of the War on Terror, there has been a surge of literary interest in Islam. Non-Muslim British writers including Martin Amis,...

Book Review: Catalyst A Rouge One Novel By James Luceno

Robert Bradley | Posted 21.11.2016 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

The book is peppered in pages filled with pace. Staying true to Luceno's style, the action is throughout, yet he is able to carefully weave his characters to life through his command of details.

Discover 10 New Authors of Colour

Ann Girdharry | Posted 04.10.2017 | UK Entertainment
Ann Girdharry

I reviewed this book over on Goodreads and, wow, was I impressed. Smita's writing style is wonderful. I hunted her down to ask if she would kick off this 'Discover...' series for me and was delighted when she agreed. Read on to find out more.

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Review)

Luke McGrath | Posted 27.09.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

The best part of my project to read some of the best books ever written is finding completely new authors. I'd never heard of Heinrich Boll or this no...

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (Review)

Luke McGrath | Posted 21.09.2017 | UK Entertainment
Luke McGrath

Quite by chance, I read A Room of One's Own as the first in my journey to read some of the best books of all time. It's one of those books most people (and writers in particular) have heard about and thought they should read, but often put off for another day. I finished the book in a few days - it's slim, but it's good reading.

Book Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Robert Bradley | Posted 23.09.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Reading about the past is one of my favourite...(cough!) past times. I love to read about tales of the human struggle, how people were pitted against the cruelty of the power hungry, blood thirsty psychopaths that have dominated the ranks of the elite for eons; Just because their ancestor had the biggest stick.

Book Review: The Empathy Problem by Gavin Extence

Robert Bradley | Posted 19.08.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Gavin Extence's writing is both witty and sincere, a clique page-turner it isn't. But certainly a more refined novel for the modern man to read at leisure. Many memorable moments you'll feel compelled to share. For instance, when Gabriel Vaughn feels outmaneuvered by a young clergyman it's made the funnier that in fact, he was outbullshited.

Book Review: When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson

Robert Bradley | Posted 19.07.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Yewtree will go down as being coined the craze of the 10's. Just as hosting a referendum is the new fad to replace 2013's

"inquiry for this and an inquiry for that! Darling we've ran out of milk, we need to open an inquiry!"
It comes then with no great surprise that crime writer Peter Robinson should bestow his beloved detective Banks with such a folly deal of the historic sex crime.

Review: Alice Oswald - Falling Awake

Phil Brown | Posted 18.07.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

Is there a word more fitting for the cultural climate of Britain in 2016 than pandemonium? When Milton coined that word, it was to describe the parlia...

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Robert Bradley | Posted 16.07.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

The fastest selling crime novel of 2015 according to the Sunday Times was I Let You Go written by Clare Mackintosh. It was a huge success. In as little as a year later, Clare's 2nd book, I See You, will be speeding its way on to our book shelves faster than you can say.. Publisher Pressure!

Review: Choman Hardi - Considering the Women

Phil Brown | Posted 12.07.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

Considering the Women is impressive in the sense that it leaves its dent upon the reader. I came away from my first reading dizzied, imbalanced and ashamed in a way which I have not felt since first encountering the work of Primo Levi.

Book Review: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Robert Bradley | Posted 30.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

When good horror and fantastic comedy collides, something really awesome happens. One minute you have them screaming at a warewolf gouging some poor...

Book Review: The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson

Robert Bradley | Posted 24.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

I'm never been exactly sure about how I feel when authors pen their novels around historical figures in fictional plots. Well, I say this having never actually read a book that has even ever done such a thing. Regardless of that fact and slightly odd introduction, I can't help but find it a little bit safe for the writer to choose a writer as their protagonist, fictional or not.

Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Robert Bradley | Posted 17.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

It is from this longing to see these dragons kick them Lannisters back into Westeros' dark ages, that I found myself picking up the Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan, the international bestselling author of Blood Song, with "dar dar, dar dar dar.. DAR!" Ringing its way through the confines of my skull.

The Many Frenemies of Luke Kennard

Phil Brown | Posted 13.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

In the eleven years since Luke Kennard won the Eric Gregory Award for The Solex Brothers, he has released five collections, two pamphlets, a novella a...


Lucy Karsten | Posted 09.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Lucy Karsten

The narrator of Kate O'Riordan's new book, 'A disturbing thriller of sexual obsession and family secrets', is a middle-aged woman. Oddly, I only realised this half-way through the first chapter, having what some people might call a 'self-reflective reading style', where I constantly assume that the lead character is myself.

Book Review: No Map Could Show Them by Helen Mort

Phil Brown | Posted 07.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

In the poems which follow, Mort often uses pronouns to emphasise conflict between the female climbers and the male hegemony they are flouting; "Where you made ways, / we will unmake" ('An Easy Day for a Lady') and "Take off the clothes they want to keep you in" ('How to Dress').

Book Review: Holy Toledo! by John Clegg

Phil Brown | Posted 05.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

As the truism goes, we get our whole lives to write a debut, and considerably less to produce the follow up. As a result, second collections are usual...

Review: Idiot Verse by Keaton Henson

Phil Brown | Posted 02.06.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

"I am willing to pay due respect to the poetry of George Meredith, of Thomas Hardy, of DH Lawrence as part of their oeuvre, without conceding that it ...

Simon Armitage's Translation of Pearl - Review

Phil Brown | Posted 23.05.2017 | UK Entertainment
Phil Brown

"If every person in the country was buying poetry and it was available on every street corner and when you turned on BBC 1 on Saturday night, poetry p...