Well, 2020 was a year, wasn't it? Not one that any of us want to revisit but please join me for a quick final recap of my year's reading. I also did a similar review last year. Total books read: 191 (-28) Re-reads: 53 (28%) (+6%) The overall number is a bit lower than last … Continue reading A year in books – 2020
A quick post this, and one which the title pretty much explains. I've been reading UnLunDun to my son, because he really enjoyed Miéville's other YA novel Railsea when I read that to him. Railsea is aimed at slightly older readers, is more linguistically and thematically complex and probably the better book, but UnLunDun is … Continue reading China Miéville’s “UnLunDun”: dismantling the cliché of Prophecy
I write about a variety of themes on this blog, and though I have a deep love of music I try to avoid writing about it because that's not what the Gyre is about. I've made a few exceptions before but this piece almost fits with the site's other interests. For over twenty years I've … Continue reading Drexciya v Cthulhu
Adam Scovell takes his long-standing fascination with the idea of Place a step further in this, his coldly enveloping second novel. Isabelle is in Strasbourg. Her increasingly-distanced partner has left for a trip to South America, and she's alone when she receives word of her father's suicide. So begins her slow sinking into the fabric … Continue reading Review: Adam Scovell – “How Pale The Winter Has Made Us”
The Nouveau Roman was a French Modernist literary movement of the 1950s whose antecedents were Joyce, Beckett and Proust. A common theme among the works produced by those writers grouped as nouveax romanistes were "discontinuity, rupture, difference and revolution"¹, and they defined themselves against "a dominant culture in thrall to a staid and anachronistic concept … Continue reading The “Nouveau Roman”: where to start?
Alasdair Gray lived - and wrote and drew and painted - in the hope of seeing Scotland once again become an independent nation. There's a grim symmetry in that he died at the very end of a decade which had come so close to seeing just that, and on the cusp of a new one … Continue reading Alasdair Gray 1934 – 2019
The basic stats from My 2019 in Books tell a story. How does it all break down? Total books read: 219 Re-reads: 48 (22%) So, a fifth of all the books I've read this year are ones I'd read before. That doesn't surprise me: I've always gone back to books I love. What does surprise … Continue reading A year in books – 2019
Any discussion of Yukio Mishima's life and work has to deal, at some point, with his death. A right-wing nationalist appalled by the Western influence on Japanese society and culture, he tried to lead his own personal militia in a coup. It failed and Mishima immediately committed seppuku - ritual suicide - before (following the … Continue reading The Japanese Proust? Yukio Mishima