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Literary Fiction


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Humour Literary Fiction

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

on
20 June 2020

“The devil went down to Georgia Moscow, he was looking for a soul to steal.”—Primus

Phew! I needed a margarita after finishing The Master and Margarita! What a magnificent, turbulent read!

This extravagant Russian allegory is an adult Alice in Wonderland, bursting at the seams with mischief, darkness and rambunctiousness. The ghosts of Faust…


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Literary Fiction

The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

on
8 June 2020

Disposition

Julian Barnes’ writing in this short novel speaks loudly in an often quiet reflective allegory of memory and loss. Overtly philosophical, Tony Webster, tells of his youth as a schoolboy, with two old friends Alex and Colin, and the new kid, Adrian Finn. How their ideological sense of the…


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Literary Fiction

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

on
5 June 2020

“In almost every family there’s a fool or a crazy person.”—Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits is set in the capital of an unnamed Latin American country during the twentieth century, and that is where I first met the del Valles.

Patriarch, Severo del Valle, has lofty political aspirations, but his…


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Literary Fiction

Shadow of the Hunter – Su Tong

on
3 June 2020

Distracting

I was intrigued with the title Shadow of the Hunter and its reference to an old Chinese tale by Chuang-Tzu regarding the mantis stalking the cicada, unaware of the oriole stalking him. Chuang-Tzu also indicates that he was illegally hunting the songbird with a cross-bow and unaware that the forester was…


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Historical Fiction Literary Fiction

Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

on
23 May 2020

I came to reading this book as someone who is not a Shakespeare aficionado. I have over the years seen various productions of Shakespeare plays, some wonderful, and some not so much so. I have never held a season’s subscription to a local Shakespeare company, but I am an…


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Humour Literary Fiction

Mr Wizard – Jeff Wallach

on
5 May 2020

Misdirection

Jeff Wallach’s debut novel, Mr Wizard is a light-hearted and highly entertaining story of family secrets and the adventure of discovering new family connections. The last words Jenny Elliot mentioned to her son Phillip before passing away, was about an Irish golf pro in Ballydraiocht, Ireland. That cryptic message made no…


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Historical Fiction Literary Fiction

Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier

on
13 April 2020

A sweeping and tumultuous story of an injured American Civil War soldier who goes AWOL and makes a relentless and dangerous journey back home to Cold Mountain, and to the woman he intends spending the rest of his life with. As poetic as Homer’s Odyssey, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is an…


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Historical Fiction Literary Fiction

Actress – Anne Enright

on
11 April 2020

Among the images of my mother that exist online is a black-and-white photograph of me, watching her from the wings. I am four or five years of age, and sitting on a stool, in a little matinee coat and a bowl haircut. Beyond me, Katherine O’Dell performs to the…


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Historical Fiction Literary Fiction

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

on
16 March 2020

Distinction

Every now and again along comes an outstanding novel that hits every aspect of what a great book should be. A Gentleman in Moscow is epic in its ambition, enthralling in its storytelling, entertaining in its humour and eloquent in its prose. The story is set amongst the chaotic birth of…


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Literary Fiction

Apeirogon – Colum McCann

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on
12 March 2020

Grief is grief. It cannot be measured or weighed or argued. Two fathers, two daughters killed by the opposite side, two families shattered, and still the same grief.

‘Apeirogon’ was a demanding novel for me due to several reasons, the first one being that I had a general understanding of…

Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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