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The Clay Dreaming by Ed Hillyer

Drawing its inspiration from the almost forgotten Australian Aborigine cricket team that toured England in 1868, it is the tale of Brippoki’s quest and his curious friendship with Sarah that is at the heart of this book. Highly atmospheric in the description of Victorian London’s backstreets and the hallucinogenic episodes of aboriginal ‘Dreaming’, this is a complex, vibrant tale that blends historical intrigue, religious fanaticism, travel and sport into a multi-layered, unconventional book. Not an easy read with every page full to bursting with historical detail and full drawn characters and yet every single word earns its place as you are immersed in hapless Brippoki’s desperate sadness.

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And My See-through Heart by Veronique Ovalde

This novel takes the reader on a surreal journey through the life of a man who has been suddenly and inexplicably bereaved. The author plays with magical realism and red herrings as doped up passive protagonist, Lancelot, tries to discover what happened to his exotic wife Irina. Frozen inside, just like his surroundings, his third person account is bizarre, jealous and violently emotional, skewing the reader off course with a surprising solution to the mystery. As with an onion there is always one more layer to be peeled away before the stinging truth is finally revealed.

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London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp

A very unusual novel describing and linking the lives of three gay men, spanning the years from the 1890s to the 1990s and set in the same geographical areas in the City of London. The narrative follows the changes in the law and attitude toward homosexuality during this period and how these affect the lives of the characters who are vivid and realistic. The story also benefits by the inclusion of actual historical figures and incidents. The brilliance of the writing is the key feature of this debut - a very worthwhile and thought provoking read.

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The Art of Being Dead by Stephen Clayton

Kieran is not someone that you would wish to meet on a dark night anywhere, let alone having him barge into your flat demanding sanctuary. But this is what happens to Jonathan.
This is a deeply disturbing tale about a quiet young man who gets out of his depth (or does he?) and how events spiral out of control (or do they?) Is Jonathan really that boring and stupid? Or is he manipulating Kieran and his other friends out of some deep, existential angst?
A book to make you brood about the dark recesses of the human soul.

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