“Ravelstein”

There is something about Bellow’s first person narrator / observer which draws you into “Ravelstein”; it seems to me that you are both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ simultaneously. This elongated pen-picture of Ravelstein, laid out by his close friend Chick, is undoubtedly all sorts of things: colourful, expansive, amusing, ironic, submissive… Indeed, the list of adjectives… Read More “Ravelstein”

Free Kindle Book Promotion

I have a free Kindle book promotion running over the next two weeks on Amazon: “At Maunston Quay” – 1st to 5th March “Degrees of Separation” – 6th to 10th March “Secrets & Wisdom” – 11th to 15th March

The Hybrid Us

It seems frankly bizarre that we sacrifice around a quarter of our lives to an unseen agent over which we have no control whatsoever. We succumb to an invisible force which has dominion over us, both physically and mentally. Decisions as whether to sleep on our left or right, front or back, are abdicated to… Read More The Hybrid Us

Buried treasure…

Working through some old notebooks (see My Writing Diary) and I came across this: “He stared at the photograph. It was not how he remembered it. It had been less sunny, surely; and there appeared no trace of wind. He thought he had been wearing his green jacket – the old one with the torn… Read More Buried treasure…

“Seize the Day”

On one level it’s really difficult to ‘like’ Saul Bellow’s “Seize the Day”. This isn’t because the book is badly written – quite the opposite! – but rather because of Tommy Wilhelm, its main character. Bellow has succeeded in drawing for us a remarkable picture of a serial loser, one with whom it is difficult… Read More “Seize the Day”

“Portnoy’s Complaint”

Usually I really like Philip Roth’s work, but I’m afraid “Portnoy’s Complaint” didn’t quite hit the spot. Written as one huge monologue, the language used – relaxed, conversational – certainly fits the bill; and having been promised something explosively funny, there were undeniably ‘laugh out loud’ moments. Having said that, however, the book poses a… Read More “Portnoy’s Complaint”