Book Reviews

Book Review: Chimene Suleyman, 'Outside Looking On'

Musa Okwonga | Posted 16.09.2014 | UK Entertainment
Musa Okwonga

Chimene Suleyman, a London-born poet, journalist and essayist of Turkish heritage, has produced Outside Looking On, a debut collection of poems for Influx Press; a very fine piece of work which, given its timing, captures London at a pivotal moment in its history.

'Prozac Nation': 20 Years On

Victoria Sadler | Posted 09.09.2014 | UK Entertainment
Victoria Sadler

In September 1994 Elizabeth Wurtzel's first book Prozac Nation was published and a new era of confessional-style memoir was born. Further than that, Elizabeth's frank and unsympathetic portrayal of her battles with depression was revolutionary in a way that now, even 20 years later, we're still getting used to...

Raw and Unforgettable Magic: Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go

Marie Southard Ospina | Posted 30.08.2014 | UK
Marie Southard Ospina

As someone who grew up stretched between Third and First Worlds, in a broken family with seven siblings scattered across the globe (each facing their own demons), there was a lot in this book that resonated with me on an intrinsic level -- things difficult for anyone to read, because of the unfiltered, unedited truth behind them.

Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla - Learning to Dwell in the Possible

Kester Brewin | Posted 09.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Kester Brewin

This multiplicity of possibilities requires a modern version of a rather more ancient magic: the splitting of the self to transcend the grim mundanity of having to 'be' in a particular place at any one time.

Lost for Words by Edward St Aubyn: Book Review

Hannah Beckerman | Posted 28.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Hannah Beckerman

It would be a mistake to assume that Lost for Words is simply a novel about book prizes. It's a novel about literature: about how we appraise it, what we value in it and who we choose to guide us in what we read.

The Vagenda, Book Review

Victoria Sadler | Posted 27.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Victoria Sadler

The new Vagenda book has put me in a real quandary. I dislike feminists having a go at each other rather than working together but, in all honesty, I cannot recommend this book. It's narrow in scope, outdated in its subject matter and patronising at best, offensive at worst.

The Man Who Wrote Henry VIII's Court

Amy Licence | Posted 17.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Amy Licence

Now, historian Lauren Mackay has looked afresh at Chapuys' letters, returning to his actual words, to decipher exactly what he did have to say. And what he didn't. What emerges in this new book about the Tudor court is a complex diplomatic picture of a lively and clever man who defies the stereotypes perpetuated in some history books to shine as he takes centre stage.

Rhino Hunt by Nick Higgins - Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 30.05.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Rhino Hunt is an honest look at the relationships held between modern middle aged men. Just as the success of the Inbetweeners movie is largely down to its realistic take on teenage life, Rhino Hunt exposes many truths of what it means to be a middle aged man, especially the ones blessed with that innate ability to act like a child, and get away with it.

Latent Hazard by Piers Venmore-Rowland - Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 12.05.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

I have always wanted to be in an action thriller. Such fleeting fantasies tend to find me when travelling. Every woman under the age of forty has and no doubt continues to fanaticise about staring in their own music video.

Book Review: Tabish Khair, How to Fight Islamist Terror From the Missionary Position

Claire Chambers | Posted 23.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Claire Chambers

This is a fast-paced, hilarious novel that nonetheless has sufficient depth to withstand several re-readings. If there's any justice, it's going to be as big a hit in Euro-America as it has been in Khair's home country of India.

Book Review: Tamarind Mem

Sumeet Grover | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Sumeet Grover

Tamarind Mem, a Canadian bestseller novel from 1997, written by Indian-born is an infectious and unforgettable story of an extensively engaged childhood, family, identity, culture and its inherent oppression of women, narrated through genius storytelling.

Poetry Review: The Nordic Light

Sumeet Grover | Posted 11.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Sumeet Grover

The Nordic Light is a collection of poetry accompanied by photography, a seldom used combination, but a very impactful and much needed one. All of the poems in this book are contributions from historic or prominent Norwegian poets, with the exception of one Danish and one Finnish poet.

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss - Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 28.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Firstly, I must state that I am not the biggest fan of cats; an animal that is so fleetingly your pet, only ever belongs to your family exclusively on it's own terms. Unlike dogs, cats have always appeared to have an air of beguiling independence and a haze of evil surrounding them.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson - Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 23.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

At the hospital bedside of Patrick, a 50-year-old professor of American studies, drinker and womaniser, our narrator begins to detail the transformative days that follow shortly after his heart transplant.

The Golden Days of Hollywood Rediscovered

Amal Fashanu | Posted 20.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Amal Fashanu

With the fanfare and build up to the Oscars, it seems timely to take a trip back to Hollywood's Golden Age. The release of the magnificent "I Used to be in Pictures", by twins Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse, intoxicatingly takes us back to this sumptuous, glorious era.

Not Another Happy Ending by David Solomons - Book Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 18.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

I have always stuck to the notion of enjoying books providing the protagonist is a person that I can connect with and their sex, it appears until two weeks ago, had been one such contributing factor.

An Anne Boleyn for a Post-Modern Generation

Amy Licence | Posted 17.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Amy Licence

By her own confession, philosopher Susan Bordo is obsessed with Anne Boleyn. The very cover of her new book alerts the reader to the fact they are about to experience something more than straightforward history.

Star Wars the Crimson Empire by Dark Horse Comics - Review

Robert Bradley | Posted 15.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

In spite of its size, the graphic novel can be read at a great pace and holds host to some of the best Star Wars artwork you're likely to see for a novel of its size. The story is classically structured yet effective, and many of the Star Wars fans will recognise places and locations used.

Book Review: My Outdoor Life by Ray Mears

Robert Bradley | Posted 12.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

We all have them don't we; stolen moments of fantasy! Where we imagine doing something out of our comfort zone and turning our lives into one great big adventure! These tend to find me on the London underground, on my depressingly dull way home from work. How many of us rarely step out of that cotton wool world we've created for ourselves?

Book Review: The Explorer by James Smythe

Robert Bradley | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Robert Bradley

Ever since my first encounter with the glowing blue introduction text of "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.." I have enjoyed a boundless love affair with outer space.

Crazy 4 Cult: Movie Art 2, Gallery 1988 (Review)

Alice Charles | Posted 27.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Alice Charles

For those new to this world, this book makes an excellent introduction and for collectors, this should point you in the right direction for your next acquisition.

Even Great Writers Get Panned: One-Star Reviews for Ten Classic Books

Lynn Shepherd | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Lynn Shepherd

Don't get me wrong - the internet is about all about self-expression and I'm all for it, but it does have its downsides, and if you're an author, the one-star review is definitely one of them. But even the greats of the past are not immune, so it being the season for some harmless fun, here are some of my favourite one-star Amazon reviews for ten of the world's best-loved books.

Fact and Fiction: The Princes in the Tower

Amy Licence | Posted 08.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Amy Licence

The reign of Richard III provides the historian with an endless minefield of possibilities. From his loyal service to the house of York, through the dramatic events of 1483, which saw the executions of his family and allies, the removal of his nephew from the throne and his own coronation, events will continue to divide those who remain fascinated by this enigma of a man.

'She Is Not Invisible' Book Review

Alix Long | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Alix Long

Like any brilliant book, 'She Is Not Invisible' included many merits: it made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all, it made me think.

Yehoshue Perle: A Modernist Voice From the Warsaw Ghetto

Amy Licence | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Entertainment
Amy Licence

Hailed as a modern Yiddish masterpiece and dismissed as too bleak to be possible, this new translation of Perle's 1935 autobiographical novel Everyday Jews belongs in the same tradition as Gorky's My Childhood and Joyce's Dubliners.