Books 2010

Books 2009

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010


I liked this review too, though not having read the book I don't know if I would agree with it. On the wartime theme I have just finished the excellent novel "The General of the Dead Army" by Ismail Kadare and written in 1963. This concerns the recovery of the corspes of Italian soldiers who died in Albania in WW2 and skilfully addresses the boredom and horrors of war through the now peaceful eyes of former military officers engaged on what seems a futile exercise in returning a dead army to their homeland. Strongly recommended!

I love a book review that starts by "oh dear, oh dear"! This is a real treat for your readers and I love the reviews of the books you didn't like.
Looking eagerly forward to a review of Mrs. Whipple's novel.
More seriously, a wonderful and stunning little book made of letters exchanged during the war is "Unknown to this Address" by Kressman Taylor. Have you read it?

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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