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Showing 1-16 of top 16 Results.

Visitation Street
(Hardback)
Ivy Pochoda
 

Visitation street by Ivy Pochoda had me in its grip right from the first page. It's a dark, intense story of grief, mystery, and loss of innocence, and it starts with a beautifully atmospheric evocation of a neighbourhood in a heatwave: 'Summer is everybody else's party. It belongs to the recently arrived hipsters in their beat-up sneakers and paint-splattered jeans. It belongs to Puerto Rican families with foil trays of meat, sending charcoal smoke signals into the air, even to the old men...watching the neighbourhood pass them by.' Pochoda tells the story of two teenaged girls, by turns bored with the prospect of endless scorching days stretching ahead of them, and excited about the potential of life that they're just beginning to grasp. Their attempt to escape the heat of a New York summer with a late night trip on an inflatable raft leads, almost inevitably, to tragedy, and sets in motion a summer of and revelation and breakdown. - Heather

 

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Frances and Bernard
(Hardback)
Carlene Bauer
Carlene's sparkling, witty and moving debut novel, told entirely through correspondence, was inspired by the real-life friendship between Flannery O'Connor and Robert Lowell. As the pair explore ideas of faith, creativity, family and madness they soon find themselves locked in a relationship which they can neither sustain nor entirely abandon. - Frances
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The Other Typist
(Hardback)
Suzanne Rindell
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Down the Rabbit Hole
(Paperback)
Juan Pablo Villalobos; Rosalind Harvey
 
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The People of Forever are Not Afraid
(Hardback)
Shani Boianjiu
Three girls finish their schooling in Israel and begin their mandatory military service. Each finds ways to deal with the interminable waiting for something to happen, as the nonchalant hedonism of youth collides with the febrile reality of the West Bank conflict. Sure to provoke strong opinions, Boianju's striking debut is an unsettling read, swinging wildly between pathos and absurdity, but never forgetting the human factor in everything that happens.
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A Possible Life
(Paperback)
Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks has never won a major literary prize, despite producing well-loved bestsellers for over 20 years. His latest contribution is a return to form-it takes the form of 5 novellas examining life's vagaries, from childhood to love to loss and back again. In the first part, Geoffrey Talbot, a quintessential Englishman, seems set for a spy career in occupied France, as in 'Charlotte Gray'. However, he winds up in a German extermination camp and just about survives. The second is a riveting story of life in a 19th-century London workhouse. Part 3, 'Everything can be explained', is set in a post-Euro crash wilderness of Europe in the future, as Fulvia explores neurosurgery and her love for her step-brother. Part 4 is a poignant tale set in the Languedoc during the Franco-Prussian wars. The book closes with a classic American road movie in California, with inflections of class and sex in a musical journey from New York to LA to Paris. This is vintage Faulks, the book is challenging and moving at the same time. Highly recommended. - NJick
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Tiger Hills
(Paperback)
Sarita Mandanna
 

As they grow up together, Devanna hopes that his childhood friendship with Devi will lead to marriage, but the young woman's head is turned by the quasi-mythical figure of the warrior who killed a marauding tiger single-handedly. Warped by his traumatic experiences at boarding school, Devanna's jealousy provokes a moment of callousness that is to define the rest of their lives, as they watch the modern world encroach upon the jungle paradise of southern India.

- Jonathan

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Dreams and Shadows
(Hardback)
C. Robert Cargill; Sinem Erkas
This debut novel by the screenwriter of the 2012 horror movie, Sinister (starring Ethan Hawke), is a lovingly crafted tale, which offers well above average spills and chills. Set in the Austin, Texas and the fantastic fairy world of the Limestone Kingdom, it sees young Colby Collins and Ewan Thatcher share an adventure that involves changelings, wizards, elves, angels and djinni. Don’t worry if you're not versed in any of the above creatures, the book within this book, Dr Thaddeus Ray’s A Chronicle of Dreamfolk, will explain everything you will need to know about these fairy folk. Echoing the works of Neil Gaiman and Guillermo del Toro, Dreams and Shadows is a twisting of the fairy tale genre, fast paced with well-rounded and believable characters. A must read for those who like their fiction ‘dark’. - Andy
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Leaving the Atocha Station
(Paperback)
Ben Lerner
Leaving the Atocha Station is a beautifully written debut by prizewinning poet Ben Lerner. Adam Gordon, an American poet in his early twenties, finds himself in Madrid on a prestigious fellowship. Tanked up on espressos, un-prescribed prescription tranquillisers and fluctuating levels of terror, Adam struggles to claim authenticity and maintain a grasp on the fine line between life and art. In many ways it can be considered a coming of age novel, or rather, a novel documenting an artist's growth into maturity, except we are left questioning whether this was ever actually achieved... Clever, funny and at times, poignant (despite our unreliable narrator's best intentions) this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. - Fran
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This is the Way
(Hardback)
Gavin Corbett
The ancient blood feud between the Traveller families, the Sonaghans and Gillaroos, is bridged by one young couple. Their son flees to the anonymous streets of Dublin, hoping to leave his divided loyalties behind. He is soon obliged to offer shelter to his itinerant uncle, but both are offered a new perspective on their heritage when they encounter Judith, who encourages them to share their stories. Rendered in memorable and lyrical dialect, Corbett's first novel gives a voice to a complex and often demonised culture. - Jonathan
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Tampa
(Paperback)
Alissa Nutting

There's a certain prurient horror to reading Alissa Nutting's tabloid-baiting story of a predatory Florida schoolteachers calculating seduction of a 14-year-old boy in her class. But, more than that, the zeal with which she pursues her goal, her rationalisation of what society finds abhorrent and her manipulative dissembling with all those who disrupt her scheme coalesce into an enthralling portrait of a sociopath. - Jonathan

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Idiopathy
(Hardback)
Sam Byers
 
Well-drawn and enjoyably sharp dissection of the irrationality and anxiety that fuels contemporary life and love. - Rhian
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Vauxhall
(Paperback)
Gabriel Gbadamosi
The best writing transports you effortlessly to another time and place. Gabriel Gbadamosi does just this in Vauxhall, delving into the recent history of the area through the eyes of young Michael, who unwittingly records not just the physical changes but also the constant movement of people and cultures; London in microcosm. - Jasper
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The First Book of Calamity Leek
(Hardback)
Paula Lichtarowicz
This arresting debut novel is set in The Garden, where 14 'Sisters' are being held by a malevolent 'Aunty'. When one of the sisters starts to question what lies beyond the Wall of Safekeeping, the carefully constructed world they live in begins to fall apart. Its shocking premise, cast of weird and wonderful characters and striking narrative voice make this a compelling and original debut. - Frances
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True History of the Kelly Gang
(Paperback)
Peter Carey
I groaned inside when my book club announced this as a recent monthly selection. After all, I'm the sort of person who wastes his time correcting grammatical errors in Wikipedia entries, and the narrative in this 2001 Booker Prize winner is nothing but unparsed sentences and endless instances of "he was" and "I were". But once I got over my pedanticism, I found myself fairly blown away by this tale of Australia's Robin Hood. Carey's narrative creates a voice for Ned Kelly (and a world around him) that is utterly convincing -- it wasn't until reading about Ned Kelly later (on Wikipedia, of course) that I was reminded that the book is actually a work of fiction, albeit one based on true events. - Adam
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Mary Swann
(Paperback)
Carol Shields
This novel is a murder mystery with a difference. Although the identity of both victim and perpetrator are known from the start, the deeper reality of the crime remains elusive. Who exactly was Mary Swann and why was she killed? Was she really a poetic genius, or were her cryptic jottings on the back of old envelopes simply the way she had of coping with a life of callous deprivation? This haunting novel, inspired by the life of murdered Canadian poet Pat Lowther, is Carol Shields at her finest. Elliptical, engrossing, and as poetical as its subject, this book is a challenging meditation on the nature of writing and the power it has to outgrow and outlive the writer. - Nina
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