Category Archives: Review

Jay Rayner reviews Fish and Chips: The Fishmarket, Edinburgh

“The fish is fine, but here fine isn’t good enough. You try it and go yeah, that’s a piece of fried fish in batter. But you wouldn’t tip your head on one side, dab an eye and admit undying love, … Continue reading

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Book Review: Zhou Haohui ~ Death Notice (Translator Zac Haluza) (2014)

Waterstones dreaded ‘Buy one, get one half price’ has led me- greedily- to buy absolute lemons in the past. On this occasion I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I was delighted. Zhou’s novel is set in Chengdu. This is an enormous … Continue reading

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Book Review: Sir Henry Howarth Bashford ~ Augustus Carp, Esq., by Himself (1924)

Sometimes I chase up references and with the magic of Google and Amazon read reviews of books I’ve never heard by authors who’s names have long disappeared. If they’re not too expensive, I buy them. Not every move outside my … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ian Rankin ~ In a house of lies (2018)

Ian Rankin is a magnificent storyteller. His principal character and main achievement is Rebus. Rebus has been developed by Rankin in a way that other crime writers have not. Rebus is now old, ill with COPD, and retired. Rankin however … Continue reading

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Book Review: William Melvin Kelley ~ A Different Drummer (1962)

A Different Drummer is set in America’s deep south in the segregation era. The principal black character is Tucker Caliban working for the family that had, generations previously, owned slaves including Tucker’s great grand-father. The central white family stills owns … Continue reading

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Book Review: Dov Alfon ~ A long night in Paris (translated Daniella Zamir)

Dov Alfon is an Israeli who’s novel is autobiographical. He was an intelligence officer in an elite unit- 8200. A lot of the action is centred on this unit. The majority of the action is based in Paris. Away from … Continue reading

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Book Review: Isaac Babel ~ Odessa Stories (Translator Boris Dratyuk) (1910s and 20s)

Babel writes about Jewish life in Odessa at the beginning of the 20th century. Odessa’s a vibrant multi-cultural seaport with a very large Jewish population. Gangsters fascinate Babel and he creates wonderful pen portraits. He also writes about being an … Continue reading

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