Monthly Archives: February 2012

Edward St. Aubyn, “At Last”

Once I finished the Patrick Melrose novels, I was absolutely compelled to gulp down At Last. I can’t quite explain the sense of urgency this novel created in me, but at one point yesterday I found myself perched at the … Continue reading

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Edward St. Aubyn, “The Patrick Melrose Novels”

All of the current enthusiasm for Edward St. Aubyn’s latest novel At Last made me curious about the earlier Patrick Melrose books — curious but nervous. On the one hand, they were supposed to be dazzling dissections of emotional disarray … Continue reading

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Michael Gilbert, “He Didn’t Mind Danger”

I hope Michael Gilbert is better-known than I think he is. I used to buy his books second-hand in the 1980s — so somebody else must have owned them, right? — but I’ve never heard anyone mention reading them and … Continue reading

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Honore de Balzac, “Pere Goriot”

Wouldn’t it be fun to know how many library books circulate without ever getting read? I haven’t had a library card in 25 years so I’m just getting used to the new freedom of choice that lets me bring books … Continue reading

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Back by Popular Demand: To Marry an English Lord

Yes, indeed: The People have spoken and the world of commerce has heeded their word. (Actually I give my New Best Friend Julian Fellowes  a lot of credit for this.) Workman Publishing has swiftly produced a reprint of To Marry … Continue reading

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Alan Hollinghurst, “The Stranger’s Child”

Only a really good writer could have pulled off The Stranger’s Child. And only a really good writer could have given it the subtle depth charge that I still find blooming in my memory, 24 hours after I put the … Continue reading

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Benjamin Black, “A Death in Summer”

This, my friends, is a very classy entertainment. Dark, certainly: Benjamin Black is no cheerful read. On the final page of the novel our wounded protagonist Dr. Quirke sums up the previous 300 pages to Detective Inspector Hackett: ‘It isn’t … Continue reading

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