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The Meursault Investigation

Camus’s novel, The Outsider, portrayed the murder of ‘the Arab’ from the perspective of the killer, Meursault. Now, in this short novel, the reader learns who the unnamed Arab actually was through the voice of his troubled brother, Harun. Harun is an old man recounting the story of his brother’s death to an unnamed journalist in an Algerian bar. This sad story is an emotive one and I listened to Harun’s version of events with a heavy heart.

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This is a world of deceit, lies, idealism, commitment, self-serving, death, murder, invasion, resistance and sex - China and Korea from the Japanese invasion of the 1930s onwards. With Kim-il-Sung as one of the central characters, this is not sweetness and light. But you will want some people to survive. And it leaves you with a question: how did Chin Ho turn into the nice old man who has written the story down? Unless it's not Chin Ho ...

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The Mark and the Void

A funny, at times absurdly funny, look at events in a small bank's Dublin arm on the cusp of the financial crash. Banking, funny? Yes, as seen through Claude a naive philosopher and employee, exploited by a shady writer There's a void at the heart of the tale because his relationships are as unreal as the bank's cash. You have to ask who's fooling who? Who's fooling you? Be counter-intuitive! Turn the very last page, and you may find out.

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The House in Smyrna

Short narrative strands twist and turn together with unnamed characters that force you to skip back and reread to try and understand what’s going on. Yet amongst the confusion, the writing is emotionally powerful and beautiful, as it moves gracefully from moments of sexual intimacy and violence to vivid travelogues. Difficult, but well worth the effort.

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Villa America

Villa America: Riviera home of wealthy Americans, Gerald and Sara Murphy, whose lavish parties are attended by Picasso, Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. But despite the 'life lived as art' ethos, I felt like the only guest without a drink, wondering how soon things would turn ugly. And though I did not warm to any of the characters, I was moved by this fascinating story about people whose lives were a mystery to me.

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