Burial Rites

(by Hannah Kent) Once the reader accepts the book as a claustrophobic minuity, s/he will find this wintery Icelandic saga is worth the solitary confinement; a lucid and authentic small tale of murder and retribution, with as much cause for optimism as in a Ken Loach film. Ken Loach should buy the film rights. [Update note: Ms Kent’s second novel is due out.  No pressure, but….]

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Blood Meridian

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |

Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West (by Cormac McCarthy) The Addams Family out in the Old West have adventures of the type conceived by the bastard child of Hunter S Thompson and Zane Grey.  This windy road will have gratuitous blood, is not for old men and weirdos ride the pretty horses… Apparently multiple attempts to wring a film from this book have failed, which is not surprising, as it is heavy-handed, ludicrously-praised nonsense.

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The Black Spider

(by Jeremias Gotthelf) This highly effective creepy morality tale would (and may) have made Poe crap his britches.  

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The Apes of God

(by Wyndham Lewis) The best (and bitchiest) book of the art demi monde ever written.

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Animal Farm

Drawing of Squealer by Pett and Freeman

(by George Orwell) The best political allegory since Swift.  Venerable pig, Old Major (‘Willingdon Beauty’ as his show name), a Karl Marx figure, outlines an animal world of milk and honey and soft straw. The animals rise up, kick out the nasty farmer, see off the counter revolution, and settle down to run the enterprise themselves, in a workers’ paradise of co-operation, truth and mutual respect. But some animals are more equal than others… Who would have thought Napoleon the Pig, circa 1940, would look so much like Vladimir Putin?  Sorry, I mean Josef Stalin. Don’t I? Our mild suggestion…

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