Whichbook Blog

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She Would Be King

Think of it like this - the Fantastic Four take on the slave traders. A witch, a spirit, a man who can disappear and a man who cannot be harmed by weapons do battle with slave traders in the newly independent Liberia. These four are brought together in a stunning narrative of extraordinary power. It is like The Famished Road on steroids.

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Sweet Home

These short stories comprise acutely observed portraits of everyday life and survival in modern Belfast. Dealing with loneliness, loss and disengagement from community, Erskine has a sharp ear for dialogue, capturing the dry Irish wit and wry turn of phrase - an arrogant character is summed up as 'a fellow who would put a bob on himself both ways'. She makes the mundane fascinating and all the characters come alive. A wonderful debut collection.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

This book is a beautifully written, but unflinching account of sexual abuse, friendship, fear, power and love during the last 45 years of political, religious and cultural upheaval in Turkey. And its final quarter is a sensitive yet slapstick burial attempt that really worked for me, though I sometimes hated myself for laughing. PLEASE don't be put off by the book's title or blurb, just read it and recommend to all friends and book groups.

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Empty Words

In a deadpan satire on the ‘realistic novel’ the author’s alter-ego uses a hand-written diary as ‘graphological therapy’ to cure writer’s block. His plan to calm the frustration of the creative process by writing about nothing, concentrating on calligraphy instead of content, fails dismally amid his own neurotic mind-chatter and procrastination, plus myriad domestic interruptions, largely featuring the amusing antics of Pongo the family dog.

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The House at Bishopsgate

London 1611 and wealthy merchant Paul Pindar returns from Syria with a fortune, several secrets and a diamond which may be cursed! Told by Paul, his wife, her best friend and his estranged servant, this is a sumptuously written novel of which Wilkie Collins would have been proud. Set wonderfully in its period, this is the third in a trilogy, but can certainly be read as a stand alone. I did and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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