The slave trade is a scar across humanity that refuses to heal. The forced displacement of so many still resonates today. Marcus Rediker uses individual narratives to create a powerful social history of this unforgiven period, the foundation-stone of empire. - Tristan
I emerged from this book blinking, stunned and more than a little high on caffeine. Compulsive, thought-provoking and as down-to-earth as a book about time travel can be, the story follows Ariel, a charmingly messed-up PhD student living in a mouse-infested flat on a diet of cigarettes, coffee and cheap wine. When she stumbles upon a semi-mythical - and supposedly cursed book, the fabled existence of which brought her to her studies in the first place, she can’t resist reading it. The End of Mr Y will sweep you into an intense world of 19th century philosophy, thought experiments and dusty libraries, with just a dash of time travel, nail-biting action and of course, romance. If you can start this book and then concentrate on anything else before finishing it then you’re a stronger person than me.
A darkly comic novel that manages to capture the ambience, tone and snappy dialogue of classic noir fiction, while at the same time creating something unique. Louie Knight is a detective straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel. Only he is not working cases is Los Angeles, but in Aberystwyth! - Tristan.
B. S. Johnson
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Like so many brilliant but glum numbskulls, B S Johnson killed himself before the rest of us less-brilliant, less-glum numbskulls had a chance to realise what he was. Let me tell you, then: B S Johnson was one of the most furiously original writers that the last century saw. Christie Malry is almost certainly Johnson’s funniest book, in which the eponym adopts a remarkably convincing sort of credit/debit philosophy. This blossoming ideology drives the action of the book from pork pie factory to reservoir and finally on to a somehow satisfying anticlimax. Unlike this review.