Category Archives: Previews

Short pages summarising and talking briefly about new or old books.

David Mitchell’s “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”

In an era when novel-writing is falling prey to the demands of a quick-consumerist culture; one that demands two or three or four new books a year from its favourite romance or thriller darlings, the reader cannot help but take … Continue reading

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Henry Fielding’s “Tom Jones”

Commonly regarded as one of the very first novelists (the others being Samuel Richardson and Daniel Defoe), Henry Fielding is a must-read for anyone who is curious as to the ways in which prose may be manipulated to fit the … Continue reading

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William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Spytime”

William F. Buckley Jr. once mentioned in his Paris Review interview, the difficulties with which he is faced when he writes a historical fiction novel. When espionage fiction, already dependent on the variables of suspense and loyalty, has a conclusion … Continue reading

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Vladimir Nabokov’s “The Eye”

What may escape many readers, given the subject matter of the Russian master Vladimir Nabokov, is the fact that his fourth novel: “The Eye,” is a supremely funny as well as haunting work. Following the self-shooting of the narrator: a … Continue reading

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Tim Pat Coogan’s “Wherever Green Is Worn”

After completing Coogan’s ambitious book, the reader will have no doubt that if there were even one clover in the metaphorical haystack, the author would be able to find it, trace its history, and account for its significance. Tim Pat … Continue reading

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In Our Time

In Our Time reflects the mood of an era, the early ’20s. Hemingway follows a central character, Nick, through fragments of his childhood and adulthood, and pieces of wartime that Nick lives through culminating with Nick’s endless solitude in a solo … Continue reading

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Tim Pat Coogan’s “Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland”

At approximately 8 PM, August 22, 1922, the president of the Free State of Ireland Michael Collins was gunned down in the nondescript town of Bael na mBlath, County Cork, Ireland. Not only was this Irish legend killed by his … Continue reading

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Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”

It is a rare treat to be able to see the novel in its first form: stripped of pretense, its diction, and every convention we have come to regard with this form, there is nevertheless something very graceful in its … Continue reading

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Junot Díaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

There are few emerging writers who are able to completely defy literary convention. This is a good thing. Were every new novel written as experimentalist or precedent setting we would have no firm notion of what the avant-garde really is. … Continue reading

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Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Having seen this title grace nearly every Modern Library or Time’s list of Top 100 Novels, I was surprised that it took so long for me to finally get around to reading it. I am, of course, very glad that … Continue reading

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