Whichbook Blog

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The Golden House

How do stories shape our identity? That's the big question in this tale of a shady tycoon, his sons and a young film-maker during Obama's presidency. But this is a Rushdie book and you can't expect a linear novel with a few twists and turns and a big 'reveal'. Instead, you'll get a meditation on good and evil, the ills of the contemporary world and a plethora of cultural references and word play. For me, a chocolate box to savour. For you?

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The Tobacconist

A coming-of-age story with a real difference as country-boy Franz is overwhelmed by both passion and reason after his move to the city. This is a tragic book because the city is Vienna and the year 1938, but it is also the story of Franz's personal triumph told with compassion and understated humour. Highly recommended.

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The Rift

Families never recover from the disappearance of a child or sibling. Selena's account of the effect of her sister Julies's disappearance on her family is heartbreaking. Julie's return after twenty years and her explanation of where she has been only causes more grief, disbelief and family discord. So don't look for certainties in this brilliant family/SF novel. Although not usually a sci-fi fan, I loved it.

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On the cusp of childhood and adolescence, Arvid is on a family visit to Denmark. The wild openess of the coastal landscape reflects his unpredictable emotions and behaviour; generational tensions make adults seem childlike compared to his longings. An existential read indeed!

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