Guest post: Troy Martin on Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth

Jonathan Cape (Random House) 9780224097383 September 2012 (buy paperback, ebook) reviewed by Troy Martin This isn’t a spy drama. Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth is more than a novel of London or the 1970s. It’s bound with literary references, but you do not need a companion to English literature to enjoy this novel. That is the most … Continue reading Guest post: Troy Martin on Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth

Dallas Angguish on Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (guest review)

Jonathan Cape (Random House) 9780224093453, 2011 (buy hardcover, ebook)  Review by Dallas Angguish Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal is the sometimes disturbing, sometimes tender and often funny story behind Jeanette Winterson’s debut novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. Whereas Oranges was a semi-autobiographical novel, Why Be Happy is a memoir, a … Continue reading Dallas Angguish on Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (guest review)

Pleasure, memory, decay, and The Stranger’s Child: an interview with Alan Hollinghurst

I had the pleasure of speaking with British novelist and Man Booker Prize winner (for The Line of Beauty) Alan Hollinghurst at his hotel last month in Melbourne, over a pot of tea. Hollinghurst's latest novel The Stranger's Child opens in 1913. The poet Cecil Valance is visiting his Cambridge friend (and secret lover) George Sawle … Continue reading Pleasure, memory, decay, and The Stranger’s Child: an interview with Alan Hollinghurst

Grey areas of madness: an interview with Jon Ronson, on The Psychopath Test

Picador, Australia, 9780330451369 (paperback) In The Psychopath Test Jon Ronson takes us on journey through the mad 'industry' of madness. And it's not all acid-tripping psychopaths. Ronson follows leads to high-security prisons, a mansion filled with predators... and to L Ron Hubbard’s coca cola stain. What results is an inevitably open-ended, sometimes frightening and often hilarious look … Continue reading Grey areas of madness: an interview with Jon Ronson, on The Psychopath Test

20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that's beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I … Continue reading 20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Embassytown by China Miéville

9780230754317 Pan Macmillan, May 2011 (Aus, UK, US/Kindle) Reviewed by Lyndon Riggall I admit defeat. I’ve been trying to present these events with a structure. I simply don’t know how everything happened. Perhaps because I didn’t pay proper attention, perhaps because it wasn’t a narrative, but for whatever reasons, it doesn’t want to be what I want to … Continue reading Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Embassytown by China Miéville