Month: February 2015

Book review: Great Expectations

Great Expectations.Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came late to Dickens, I think. My mother was always on at me to read A Tale of Two Cities – and I still haven’t, strangely – but I never seemed to click with the novels I tried. I just couldn’t get into his world.

It wasn’t until Year 12 that I had to read Great Expectations for a book report. As was my wont, I didn’t start reading the book until the night before the paper was due. But something strange happened: instead of just skimming, as I’d otherwise have done, I was engrossed. I ripped through the book, paying it closer attention than I’d expected to. I loved it. (more…)

Book review: Coldheart Canyon

Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story.Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story by Clive Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve shied away from Barker for a couple of years now. I’m not sure why. Like King, he’s an author who I discovered in my teens, and the combination of splatter and verbosity seemed to be something better left behind in advancing years. I’d read Cabal and some of the Books of Blood – inspired by sneaked viewings of Nightbreed and Hellraiser but I kind of found some of his weirdly sensual prose a bit on the nose.


In the interim, I understand he’s written some great stuff and some shit stuff. People I know who are fans have been alternately overjoyed and deeply disappointed at his recent work – but I’ll be investigating more closely if the quality of this one’s anything to go by. (more…)

Book review: The Unconsoled

The UnconsoledThe Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second time I’ve tried to read The Unconsoled and the first time I’ve actually completed it. A couple of months after the novel was released, I picked up a copy of the enormous hardback, as I was certain the blurb rang true, that I would suddenly fall in love with the world inside.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, I was mystified and more than a little pissed off. Trying to make sense of the book was kind of like stuffing a pillow with smoke: (more…)