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Book Reviews

This category contains 11 posts

Book Review: Selected Stories by Mark Valentine

Selected Stories, due out soon from Swan River Press, brings together a number of stories by Mark Valentine that share related themes and a very particular style of approach reminiscent of the work of several writers working in the early 20th Century. While most stories don’t specify a year in which they take place, references … Continue reading

Book Review: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda was the first of several novels I’ve read by Peter Carey and it’s still my favourite of his books. It tells the story of clergyman Oscar Hopkins and heiress Lucinda Leplastrier, both addicted gamblers of opposing type: one obsessive, one compulsive, both necessarily secretive, both bound by the strictures of mid-19th Century … Continue reading

Book Review: Border Lines by John Walsh

Perhaps better known as a poet, having published three collections of poetry in the last few years, and as MC of the monthly North Beach Poetry Nights in the Crane Bar, Galway, John Walsh is also a writer of short stories, and Border Lines, recently published by Doire Press, presents an excellent sampling of what … Continue reading

Book Review: Longsword by Thomas Leland

Longsword tells the story of William Longespée, the illegitimate son of King Henry II, who was married by his half-brother, then King Richard I, into the family of Salisbury, becoming the Earl of Salisbury. Published in 1762, this new edition from Swan River Press is its first appearance in print in over 30 years and … Continue reading

Book Review: Old Albert by Brian J. Showers

Old Albert charts the history of Larkhill House from circa 1840 to the 1920s, with a coda that brings the story up to the present day, and apart from one chapter that digresses to Ireland’s Eye, is set in Larkhill and its Rathmines environs. Larkhill House is a real place, as is St. Mary’s Church, … Continue reading

Book Review: The Whisper Jar by Carole Lanham

There is the danger that a casual perusal of the contents page of Carole Lanham’s collection The Whisper Jar may give the potential reader the impression that this is a work of whimsy, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is certainly an element of whimsy sown into some of the stories, but … Continue reading

Book Review: The Floating Order by Erin Pringle

The wonder of The Floating Order, a collection of short stories by Erin Pringle, is that it is impossible to pigeonhole. At their heart the stories have a darkly fantastic edge, but this aspect is more often than not a component of the character’s view of the outside world. Skewed perspectives dominate, particularly in the … Continue reading

Book Review: Strange Epiphanies by Peter Bell

Strange Epiphanies, from Swan River Press, is a collection of short stories by Peter Bell. Swan River Press specialises in horror fiction of the macabre and supernatural tale variety, taking its cue from the work of writers such as Sheridan Le Fanu, Arthur Machen, M.R. James and others. The emphasis is very much on a … Continue reading

Book Review: You by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

At first glance the prospect of reading a novel written entirely in the second person and mostly in the present tense might prove daunting to many, but it is a testament to Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s skill as a writer that the story fairly clips along. Told from the point of view of a ten year … Continue reading

Book Review: Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer

Anyone with a genuine interest in writing, with a view to not only getting published but also making a career of it, if you might call it that, invariably reads one or more books on writing. There are many books on writing out there, many of them good, several of which I’ve read. But I … Continue reading