Category Archives: Novel

rodin and the ancient greeks, & the iliad

rodin and the ancient greeks i didn’t realise that rodin spent a lot of time in london, and that he kept visiting the british museum to see the elgin marbles and other greek sculpture; it seems (at least according to … Continue reading

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luisa miller & ordeal of innocence

luisa miller (live from the met, south woodford odeon) even my dad hadn’t heard of this opera by verdi; and the english surname of its heroine certainly feels unusual in this italian-language melodrama with a count and a guy called … Continue reading

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così fan tutte and a portrait of the artist as a young man

così fan tutte (live from the met at the odeon south woodford) as with tosca, i was surprised, and pleased, at the level of dark, serious stuff, but this time more so, as superficially it’s a comedy spying on their … Continue reading

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lauren scott and the seahorse, by chris jones, and trip to windsor and eton

lauren scott and the seahorse (a teenager novel self-published by a friend) a fantastic first chapter – a gripping opening, strongly establishing the futuristic london, and pulling my eyes along the lines of the page as the chase became intense; … Continue reading

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the day of the triffids and a visit to bamford quaker community

the day of the triffids far better than i expected (i’d grabbed it from a friend’s shelves in a oh-i-haven’t-read-that-and-really-should-have mood) (though i had enjoyed the midwich cuckoos) – a dark, sober, and believable evocation of london as it might … Continue reading

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silence and the shape of water

SPOILERS silence shusaku endo’s novel (and scorsese’s film) is set during the persecution of portuguese jesuit missionaries in 16th-century japan, but its impact is more 20th-century existential: the story of rodriguez’s slow progress to apostasy is closer to winston smith’s … Continue reading

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“Sweet Danger” by Marjery Allingham; “Have his Carcase” and “Whose Body?” by Dorothy L. Sayers

Sayers is great fun – Wimsey is a wonderful character, such a perfect epitome and caricature of clubland and the Edwardian aristocracy, and her murder mysteries are intricate and teasing. Allingham though is to be preferred: her Campion has greater … Continue reading

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