Category Archives: Literature

Book Review: Omar El Akkad ~ American War

Omar was born in Egypt, lived in Qatar and is now a Canadian. This matters, American War is a dystopian novel set in the late 21st century. America is engaged in a vicious civil war. Climate change has caused havoc … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Politics, Review, War | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book review: Anonymous ~ The Secret Barrister: stories of the Law and How It’s Broken

The Secret Barrister quickly establishes his non-traditional background. He was educated at a comprehensive school and isn’t a high-flyer. His post-2000 career has been blighted by reductions in legal aid payments. He offers many examples of stellar legal work but … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Politics, Prison, Prison reform, Review | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: A A Dhand ~ Girl Zero

The hackneyed British thriller genre featuring maverick Detective Inspectors is moved on by Dhand. Detective Inspector Harry Virdee is British-Asian brought up in Bradford where his father owned a corner shop. As a teenager Harry murdered a thief who was … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chris Grayling: A Tory extremist

…. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Justice between 2012 and 2015, announced his populist plans to make prisons, already hideous tombs of violence, death and terror, ‘less lax’ and more ‘spartan’, introducing severe restrictions on prisoners’ ‘privileges’ – … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Politics, Prison | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: John Burdett – Bangkok Eight

John Burdett’s book is a very exotic thriller. Burdett begins Bangkok Eight with a murder. Unlike routine thrillers this murder isn’t crude and obvious. This murder is exquisite in its sophistication. Bangkok Eight hasn’t anything like the Anglo-Saxon thriller genre. … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Keigo Higashino – The Devotion of Suspect X (translated by Alexander O Smith)

Those of us who read a lot of Anglo-American thrillers are used to a particular narrative arc. There’s usually a sadistic murder say of a woman/women, a maverick Detective Inspector accompanied by a hero-worshipping sergeant, who solve the crime. Often … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Andre Aciman – Call me by your name

Aciman’s wonderfully sensitive book about a teenager’s rite-of-passage proved eminently translatable to the big screen. It was a wonderful film but the book is possibly(?) better. Aciman sets his novel in an erudite hot-house intellectual atmosphere. Elio, the son of … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment