The Age of Cardboard and String by Charles Boyle

The Age of Cardboard and String

Charles Boyle

The narration of each poem creates a little universe of its own. Idiosyncratic ways of looking at things, unexpected personification of objects, long lists that start mundane and end surreal - all add up to an entertaining read. You don't have to be familiar with Stendhal's work but it might add to your reading of this book if you are.


I reach across to offer her a light

or share her wine or touch
her cheek or add my bit along the bottom edge
or in the margin, but this poem
is closing now, the waiters
are checking their watches, the abbey
is being rolled up, oxygen levels are critical

from Summer, An Afternoon

  • The Way Things Are by Roger McGough
  • The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
  • Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Our suggestions if you enjoyed False Value by Ben Aaronovitch


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Today Will Be Different

Maria Semple

Ada's Rules

Alice Randall

Amy and Isabelle

Elizabeth Strout

Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather

Pierre Szalowski

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Katherine Pancol

The House of the Hidden Mothers

Meera Syal

The Birth of Love

Joanna Kavenna

Various Pets Alive and Dead

Marina Lewycka

What About Me?

Kate Figes