Books

Book review: The Accident Season

Moira Fowley-Doyle tells Caroline O’Doherty that she likes to keep her characters and her stories rooted in reality even if what’s happening around them is surreal, because a good story will appeal to readers of all ages.

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Book review: Frederick the Great: King of Prussia

Frederick the Great is judged by many historians to have been an enlightened despot. Geoffrey Roberts on an  impressive, comprehensive new biography by Tim Blanning.

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Book review: Among The Ten Thousand Things

THE most frustrating thing about this debut novel from US writer Julia Pierpont is that it kicks off with a bang.

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Book review: Morning and Evening

MORNING and Evening, the latest of Jon Fosse’s novels to be shepherded into English by the Dalkey Archive Press, attempts to make sense of nothing less than the perpetual astonishment of life itself.

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Book review: The Girl Who Wasn’t There

SEBASTIAN von Eschburg is the lonely offspring of a frosty marriage. 

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Book review: Think Like An Engineer

WE remember the name of penicillin-discoverer Alexander Fleming. But who now recalls Margaret Hutchinson? 

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Book review: One Wide Expanse

MICHAEL LONGLEY is one of the most popular Irish poets of the modern era. 

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Book review: Operation Thunderbolt

OPERATION Thunderbolt tells the story of one of the most celebrated, modern counter-terrorism operations. 

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Children’s books

I’m a Girl! By Yasmeen Ismail (Bloomsbury; €8.80)

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Book review: Bitter Freedom - Ireland in a Revolutionary World, 1918-1923

Ryle Dwyer says Bitter Freedom is, a thoughtful and balanced history that exposes the need to be wary about what actually happened around 1916 before we engage in an unquestioning orgy of centenary celebrations. 

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Book review: The Emperor Far Away

 

In a country of a billion people, living on the edge takes on a different meaning, especially in the Chinese hinterlands as David Eimer discovered, says Noel Baker

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Book review: New American Stories

THIS anthology aims to present the range of what American short-story writers have been capable of in the previous ten years,” says the editor of New American Stories, Ben Marcus, in a charming, if somewhat bloated and hyperbolic, introduction.

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Book review: Every Night I Dream Of Hell

WHEN Nate Colgan accepts the job of ‘security consultant’ with the Jamieson organisation, one of Glasgow’s most feared gangs, he doesn’t realise what he’s getting into.

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Book review: Generation

WRITE what you know about is the mantra for (especially) first- time novelists, but if you know nothing about the author, then how can you match what you read with what you know?

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Book review: The Sunshine Cruise Company

WHAT do you do when you’re a 60-year-old middle-class housewife and your comfortable suburban lifestyle is destroyed by your husband’s eye-watering death in a secret sex dungeon?

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Book review: A Woman Loved

FICTION makes it seem easy to explore another life, as the young film-maker Oleg Erdmann attempts to do in Andrei Makine’s latest and characteristically challenging novel. 

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Book review: The Sisters

DEBUT authors seem to have dominated the fiction charts this year; from The Miniaturist to the success of The Girl On The Train.

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Children’s books

NO! by David McPhail (Frances Lincoln, €10.05; endorsed by Amnesty International UK). Set during wartime a small boy sets out to post a letter.

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Did free downloads lead to the death of the music industry?

Stephen Witt has documented how a generation came to expect all their music for free, writes Eoghan O’Sullivan.

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Book review: Love + Hate

Hanif Kureishi, the English novelist and playwright of Pakistani extraction, is best known for acclaimed work like My Beautiful Laundrette, Intimacy and ‘The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1990. Frequently ambitious in terms of subject matter and exploring the boundaries of genre, new work by him is always eagerly anticipated.

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Book review: R.I.P.

After a rather heavy session on the old parsnip wine, George Pearmain would very much like to be left in peace the next morning. 

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Book review: Miss Emily

Emily Dickinson’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts is turned upside down with the arrival of a 17-year-old Irish maid-of-all-works, Ada Concannon, into its scullery in Nuala O’Connor’s novel.

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Book review: The Ballad Of A Small Player

Formerly a travel writer - and a person apparently accustomed to excelling in pretty much every area he delves into - British novelist Lawrence Osbourne is something of a throwback to the classic 1930-50 literary period, a time when the likes of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene were in their prime, setting standards few could ever hope to attain, let alone emulate. 

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Children’s books

Rama and the Demon King by Jessica Souhami, How The Library, (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour, and Atlas of Adventures Activity Funpack by Lucy Letherland.

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Book review: The Invention of Nature

Alexander von Humboldt was one of the scientists who defined our world. Dick Warner on a book that may help restore his well- deserved reputation as the father of environmentalism.

 

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Book review: Blood, Salt, Water

Roxanna Fuentecilla has recently moved from London to Glasgow. Detective Inspector Alex Morrow and her team have had her under surveillance, suspecting her of drug smuggling and money laundering. But then Roxanna disappears, without a word to her partner or her two children.

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Book review: We Were Liars

Emily Lockhart writes for young adults but does not shy away from themes no matter how difficult they are but, she tells Tony Clayton-Lea that it is important to realise that her readers are on a journey of exploration.

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Book review: In A Dark Dark Wood

When an email invitation lands in Nora’s inbox inviting her to Clare’s hen party, she is confused. Nora, a crime fiction writer, hasn’t seen or heard from Clare in 10 years since their school days. Against her better judgement, she decides to go, in agreement with another old school friend, Nina.

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Taking that leap of faith

Michaela DePrince’s journey from civil war orphan to ballet star fame is the stuff of fairytale, writes Marjorie Brennan.

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Book review: Paradise Sky

JOE LANSDALE’S Paradise Sky is a fictionalised account of the life of Nat Love, aka Deadwood Dick, one of the Wild West’s most fascinating outlaws. 

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Book review: Aurora

TWO thousand, one hundred twenty-two people are living in a multigenerational starship, headed to Tau Ceti, 11.9 light-years from Earth.

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Book review: Genghis Khan: The Man Who Conquered the World

Genghis Khan had an extraordinary mind and was a master psychologist and knew how to use cruelty to succeed. A new biography, finds Richard Fitzpatrick, explains how he became such a dominant figure.

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Book review: Signs For Lost Children

SARAH MOSS’ latest novel picks up where her successful Bodies Of Light breaks off. Set in the 1880s, newly married Ally is about to begin a six-month period of separation from her husband, Tom.

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Book review: Love Notes for Freddie

LOVE Notes for Freddie is an entertaining novel set in 1969 in one of England’s dullest towns, Welwyn Garden City. 

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Book review: Taking Pity

IN Taking Pity, the fourth novel of the series, former journalist David Mark continues to follow the tortured souls that are DS Aector McAvoy and DS Trish Pharoah.

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Book review: The Long Hot Summer

Kathleen MacMahon was suffering second-book syndrome when she fell ill. Holed up in bed for months, she created the vibrant ‘Long Hot Summer’, writes Sue Leonard.

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Book review: The Girls

YOU can’t pick your neighbours, can you trust them? 

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Children’s books

Loo In The Zoo by Paul Cherrill (Scholastic, €8.80) 
This is a very clever, sturdy mix and match board book which succeeds on two levels. 

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Book review: June

ON a hot afternoon in June, 1969, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, as part of a country tour, arrives in the northern village of Slootdorp.

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Children’s books

Lottie Lipton lives very happily in the British Museum with her father who works there, and her elderly eccentric Great Uncle, Professor Bertram West.

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FIRST THOUGHTS: A lament so clotted with rage and desperation

IN an unnamed place and unspecified time, a man and his wife exist in pieces following the death of their son.

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Eamon Casey and Michael Cleary

Book review: Handbook of the Irish Revival

The Handbook of the Irish Revival contains violent material and covers a period when theatre was never so exciting because history itself was excited, writes Thomas McCarthy.

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Book review: Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling

BERNARD HINAULT was one of the greatest cyclists of all time and is the last Frenchman to have won the Tour de France.

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Book review: All That I Leave Behind

From an editing career in Harper Collins to best-selling debut author, mother of three Alison Walsh tells Sue Leonard that the path to success in writing can be a long road working from the bottom up.

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Book review: Last Bus to Pewterhole Cross

George Harding left school at an early age but never lost his love of poetry. Following his retirement from a successful bicycle business, he went to university and got back on the literary saddle, he tells Colette Sheridan.

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Book review: Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France

During WWII tiny French villages were used to help Jewish children escape the Holocaust. Caroline Moorehead, who discovered the little known story, spoke to Richard Fitzpatrick.

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Book review: The Not-Dead And The Saved And Other Stories

KATE CLANCHY won the BBC National Short Story award for the title story of her debut collection, and it typifies the themes that run through these other 15 stories.

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Book review: The House At The Edge Of The World

WHEN twins Morwenna and Corwin Venton were 18, their father John fell off a Devon cliff while stumbling home from the pub. 

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Book review: The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend

SARA is 28 and works in a bookshop in Sweden.

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Book review: The Killing Lessons

SAUL BLACK’S serial killer yarn is plotted with the precision of a Swiss watch and ticks along until its explosive finale.

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Book review: A Year Of Marvellous Ways

IF the name Sarah Winman rings a bell, it will be because of her phenomenally successful debut, When God Was A Rabbit, published in 2010. 

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Book review: Reunion

REUNION tells the story of Hans Schwarz, a lonely Jewish boy, and the friendship he forms with an equally lonely new arrival at their exclusive Stuttgart high school, Konradin von Hohenfels.

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Children’s books

Alfie In The Bath
by Debi Gliori
(Bloomsbury, €13.85)

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Book review: Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories

Jeremy Hutchinson is one of those people who changed the world they were born into. Dan Buckley on a sparkling career and a wonderful man still going strong at 100.

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Book review: The Night Stages

The Canadian novelist Jane Urquhart has spent so much time in Ireland, particularly Kerry, that she has based her latest book — The Night Stages — here. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her more than enjoyable journey.

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Book review: Asap Science: Answers To The World’s Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors & Unexplained Phenomena

WITH almost four million subscribers to its YouTube channel and several millions of views every month, Mitchell Moffit and Grey Brown are essentially social media celebrities who have created a wacky, yet wildly successful online platform to explain everyday science.

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Book review: The Mark and the Void

READERS may well have found the novel that captures the spirit of Ireland’s post-Celtic Tiger recession in Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void, set in Dublin two years after “the collapse of Lehman Brothers finally ignited the bonfire that was the Irish economy”.

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Book review: The Book of Aron

Narrator Aron is a wild young Jewish boy in the Warsaw ghettos. 

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Book review: The Parrots

THREE years after Vogue’s editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman made her debut with the publication of Can We Still Be Friends? her second serving of fiction has arrived. 

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Book review: Afternoon Tea At The Sunflower Cafe

FOR 20 years Connie Diamond has been playing second fiddle to her husband, Jimmy, his career — and his desire for other women.

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Children’s books

The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin (Bloomsbury €13.85)

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Book review: When The Doves Disappeared

Sofi Oksanen writes in Finnish and getting her work translated into English was difficult at first but now she has the kind of sales publishers crave. She explained all to Tony Clayton-Lea on one of her regular visits to Ireland.

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Book review: The Story Of Science: From The Writings Of Aristotle To The Big Bang Theory

SCIENCE is everywhere. But the science most of us encounter in our everyday lives — in newspaper reports and political rhetoric, for instance — bears very little resemblance to the real thing, and says very little of the theory, meaning, and importance (or lack thereof) behind it.

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Book review: Techbitch

DO you know your Bit.ly from your Feedly? Periscope from your Flickr? Ever think you might need to be dragged into the world of apps and technology silently kicking and screaming?

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Book review: No Book But The World

THE title comes from Rousseau’s edict on education, Let there be no book but the world. 

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Book review: In the Night of Time

ANTONIO Muñoz Molina is one of Spain’s leading contemporary novelists. 

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Book review: Rickshaw

RICKSHAW drivers occupy a ubiquitous presence on the streets of the West End. But most Londoners never even give them a moment’s thought.

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Book review: The Forgotten Spy

HISTORY is littered with stories of famous spies — from Mata Hari to Philby, Maclean, Burgess and Blunt. 

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Book review: Silver Bullets

DETECTIVE Edgar ‘Lefty’ Mendieta, the main player in Elmer Mendoza’s English-language debut, likes ‘an impossible case’. 

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Children’s books

Richard Scarry’s Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! (Harper Collins €8.80) is ready to delight a new generation of youngsters.

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Book review: Natural Capital: Valuing The Planet

Putting a value on things we take for granted may save humanity argues Dieter Helm. Noel Baker is impressed by his powerful, commonsense arguments.

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Book review: Dealing with China: An insider unmasks the new economic superpower

Hank Paulson is the ultimate insider. He worked with Nixon, was US treasury secretary, but hit the jackpot working for Goldman Sachs in China. Gerard Howlin discusses a career built on, among other things, charm.

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Book review: Grey

WHEN Fifty Shades Of Grey came out, I chose not to review it. And then it exploded — and everyone read it, even my mum.

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Book review: How Music Got Free: What Happens When An Entire Generation Commits The Same Crime?

STEPHEN WITT is a self-confessed downloading addict, who claims he hasn’t paid for music since the turn of the millennium.

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Book review: Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling And Other Forgotten Sports

FUCHSPRELLEN is the inspiration for Edward Brooke-Hitching’s first book. 

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Book review: Hand Reached Down to Guide Me

ON the morning I was to be married for the second time, I found myself going to my knees in the shower and praying: that my ex-husband would find love again ...” 

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Book review: Judges

OVER the past decade UK-based MacLehose Press has earned deserved plaudits for its dedication to translating the most compelling foreign-language literature for an English-language audience.

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Book review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

THERE is a place in northern Myanmar, close to the Chinese border, that can’t be found on any map, even if you have access to the latest hi-tech GPS systems. 

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Children’s books

A Tower Of Giraffes – Animal Bunches by Anna Wright (Words and Pictures, €15.10 HB). 

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Book reviews: All Over Ireland and Tales from the Emerald Isle and Other Green Shores

Billy O’Callaghan looks at two collections of short stories, one uneven and the other a series of enduring, almost timeless classics.

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Book review: Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Addiction

Dreamland is the story of a town’s collapse in America’s mid west and its battle for recovery and redemption. Cormac O’Keeffe on the grip catastrophic drug addiction — legal and illegal — had on Portsmouth in Ohio.

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Book review: The Festival of Insignificance

MILAN Kundera’s first novel in 14 years is a short, amusing, and thought-provoking meditation on the nature of insignificance. 

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Book review: Poseidon’s Wake

THERE has always been a strain of science fiction concerned with exploring the human condition via journeys to faraway places. 

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Book review: Our Souls At Night

KENT HARUF’S final novel, Our Souls at Night, completed before he died in November last year, is a beautifully poignant swansong for this much-loved American writer.

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Book review: The Saffron Road: A Journey With Buddha’s Daughters

THIS is an expansive exploration of Buddhism and the plight of Buddhist nuns across the globe.

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Book review: The Naked Surgeon: The Power And Peril Of Transparency In Medicine

SAMER NASHEF is fascinated by the power of numbers to foster transparency in medicine.

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Book review: The House Of Hidden Mothers

ACTRESS and writer Meera Syal has set the literary bar high for herself. Her first novel Anita And Me is now a national curriculum set text, her second, Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, was made into a BBC drama.

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Children’s books

Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies (Simon and Schuster €8.80)
Little Syd loves to visit his grandpa’s house at the end of the garden. 

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Book review: Tender

Tender, a novel about being a gay man in unwelcoming 1970s Ireland, was published just after the marriage equality amendment was passed. That was purely coincidental, Belinda McKeon assures Caroline O’Doherty.

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Book review: The Negotiator: A Memoir

George Mitchell’s life and career epitomise the American dream but it was his perception and patience that made it a great success, discovers Ryle T Dwyer.

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Book review: The Life Of Saul Bellow: To Fame And Fortune, 1915-64

Leader’s account of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist weighs in at 812 pages, and this is only Part One, taking us up to the third of Bellow’s five marriages, writing of Humboldt’s Gift, and a secure position at the very summit of American letters.

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Book review: Finders Keepers

With more than 50 novels under his belt, it’s admirable King still writes his own books, unlike some big authors whose names have been turned into brands.

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Book review: The Framing of Harry Gleeson

THE hanging of an innocent man is of course the most cogent argument of all against the death penalty.

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Book review: Mrs Engels

“NO-ONE understands men better than the women they don’t marry,” declares Lizzie Burns, the eponymous narrator of Gavin McCrea’s debut novel Mrs Engels.

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Book review: The Turning Point

The Sunday Times bestselling author returns with a tale about finding love in unexpected circumstances.

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Book review: Tiger Milk

TIGER Milk is made by mixing cheap Mariacron brandy and maracuja juice with milk from the school cafeteria in a wide-mouthed container of chocolate Müller milk. 

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Children’s books

Murray The Horse by Gavin Puckett, illustrated by Frank Rodgers (Faber €7.55)
This handy little book of rhyme tells the story of a young horse called Murray, who dreams of becoming a world-renowned champion especially as his parents “won trophies and medals galore”. 

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Kya deLongchamps reviews a new book on Wartski the jeweller

Wartski: The First 150 Years, really is something of a jewel. Author Geoffrey Munn is a familiar face on the BBC’s Antique Roadshow, where he tenderly unveils precious jewellery and object d’art brought to the wobbling tables every season.

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Book review: My Life It’s A Long Story

Willie Nelson, at 82, has written an autobiography and Billy O’Callaghan finds it full of music, humour, thoughtfulness and insight culled from lessons learned the painful way — and surprisingly confessional.

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Book review: The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney has rattled the cage with her debut novel, The Glorious Heresies, an authentic portrayal of Cork City’s underclass, says Sue Leonard.

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Book review: Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians

MEMOIRS by naturalists who became enthused by some aspect of wildlife when they were children and whose enthusiasm survives a lifetime are relatively common these days. 

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Book review: The Residence: Inside The Private World Of The White House

BUTLERS, plumbers, doormen, florists, the executive pastry chef: these are just some of the hundreds of people that work at the White House for the President of the USA.

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Book review: Your Father Sends His Love

THREE years ago Stuart Evers wrote his first collection of short tales, Ten Stories About Smoking.

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Book review: Romancing Ireland

WHEN entertainer Richard Hayward died in a car accident, aged 72, it was front-page news in the Irish daily newspapers, not just in his hometown, Belfast. 

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Book review: Data-ism: Inside The Big Data Revolution

IT is a long time since that old chestnut about computer geeks inheriting the earth began doing the rounds but, as this book points out, it’s maths nerds who are the real stars.

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Book review: Disappeared

THE normal standards of right and wrong did not apply to his parishioners,” observes Fr Jack Fee early on in Anthony J Quinn’s Disappeared, “only what was necessary or unnecessary for survival.”

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Children’s books

Bears Don’t Read
by Emma Chichester Clark
(Harper Collins €8.80 ) 

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Book review: The Ballroom Cafe

High court reporter Ann O’Loughlin sees us at our most distressed moments and is particularly passionate about the plight of children put up for forced adoption, a thread in her first novel. She explains all to Sue Leonard.

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Book review: Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble

Anthony Beevor has written another history of another decisive WWII battle — the last throw of the dice for the Nazis, the Battle of the Bulge. Richard Fitzpatrick enjoyed it.

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Book review: The Followers

If you’re looking for a summer read with brains, this is the perfect book.

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Book review: The Girl Missing From the Window

AT FIRST glance, Paul O’Reilly’s debut collection of short stories seems issue-driven. 

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Book review: Death Wears A Beauty Mask & Other Stories

THE facts speak for themselves, and they are very, very impressive: Over 50 novels published, million of copies sold, four-book contracts for over $60m. 

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Book review: All My Puny Sorrows

YOLI is dying to keep her sister Elf alive. It is a full-time job for this author going through a second divorce, a middle-aged mother of teenagers seeking to finally write a novel for grown-ups after a series of Young Adult “rodeo romances”.

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Book review: Dancing With The Enemy: My Family’s Holocaust Secret

Raised as Roman Catholic, Paul Glaser is shocked to discover a suitcase with his name on it, during a visit to Auschwitz, and he uncovers his father’s Jewish roots and learns about his estranged Aunt Rosie during World War II.

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Book review: World Gone By

The latest novel from the American crime writer Dennis Lehane concludes a trilogy spanning the years from the end of the First World War to the start of the Second.

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Children’s books

Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring ( Bloomsbury €8.80)

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Book review: Do It Like A Woman... And Change The World

Caroline Criado-Perez

Portobello Books, €16.99; ebook, €13.15

Review: Katie Wright

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Childrens’ books: I need a wee!

I Need A Wee! by Sue Hendra (Simon and Schuster; €8.80) Alan the bear whoops with glee when he whooshes down the big helter-skelter.

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Heat of betrayal: Always on the move

When Douglas Kennedy’s half-drunk father called him “a loser” he emptied his bank account and returned to Ireland where he had studied at Trinity. He’s been more or less travelling since. He explains all to Declan Burke. 

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Beginner’s Pluck: Tim McCormick

Tim taught in India with the VSO after college, then moved to London to study accountancy. Back in Dublin, he joined the National Irish Investment Bank, where he remained until 1990.

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Wolf Winter won’t easily be erased from the reader’s mind

SET in Swedish Lapland in the winter of 1717, in a time and place so remote as to seem unearthly, Wolf Winter creeps up on the reader stealthily, like a silent fall of snow.

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Sweetland: One man up against a world that won’t stop changing

SWEETLAND opens with ghostly voices heard against the wail of the foghorn by Moses Sweetland, a fisherman stranded at sea overnight in the fog. The voices belong to a boatload of dying Sri Lankan migrants, set adrift without food or water in the North Atlantic by unscrupulous people-traffickers.

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A Buzz in the Meadow: A charming manifesto that will leave the reader buzzing

In his second book, Dave Goulson takes us to France in what is part autobiography, part tract, and a rousing read on insects, pets, and pandas, writes Tommy Barker.

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Book review: At The Water’s Edge

At The Water’s Edge

Sara Gruen

Two Roads, €25.50; ebook, €9.49

Review: Heather Doughty

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FIRST THOUGHTS: Laub’s latest novel translated into English

Diary of the Fall

Michel Laub (translated by Margaret Jull Costa)

Vintage, £8.99; Kindle: £4.35

Review:

Billy O’Callaghan

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Book review: The Cellar

Minette Walters

Hammer, €19.50; ebook, €10.99

Review: Phil Robinson

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A new life revealed for Doreen Finn

Doreen Finn came to writing because one of her teachers challenged her to write a novel. She spoke to Sue Leonard about how that unexpected challenge was a revelation and how it has changed her life.    

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Children’s books

Once there was a little girl called Emily Brown and an old grey rabbit called Stanley.

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SJ Watson I presume? Shining a light on a star of domestic noir

SJ Watson’s second novel Second Life deals with all of the layers that makes up an individual. He spoke to Declan Burke about his first domestic noir thriller.    

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First Thoughts: Massimo Carlotto’s Cocaine

THREE themed short stories by three acclaimed Italian crime/thriller writers – what could go wrong?

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Beginner’s Pluck: Maria Murphy

In her early 20s Maria was in a folk group, and she started writing lyrics, and some poetry. But it wasn’t until 2004, when she joined a creative writing group that she started taking writing seriously.

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Book review: Writing from the Frontier

DESRIBED by himself as ‘poor, friendless and joyless’ Anthony Trollope arrived in Ireland in 1841 to work as clerk to an Irish surveyor at a salary of £100 a year.

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Book review: Hunters In The Dark

Lawrence Osborne’s new novel has much in common with its predecessor, The Ballad Of A Small Player, as a tale of ghosts and gamblers adrift on the edges of South East Asia.

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Book review: Fetale

AT JUST over 90 pages Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale is a magnificent example of French noir stretched into the realms of art.

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Book review: Ladybird by Design

The iconic children’s publisher is 100 years old, and Marjorie Brennan wistfully remembers its colourful, moral stories, its fairy tales and its idyllic world of happy families, science and history.

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Book review: Tanglewood

Dermot Bolger talks to Tony Clayton-Lea about his new book Tanglewood and how he believes that the introduction of free secondary education in the late 1960s was at the root of the 1980s burst of Irish creativity.

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Book review: The Mountain Story

ON his 18th birthday, Wilfred Truly, better known to everyone he’s ever met as Wolf, takes the tramcar up a southern California mountain with the intention of hiking off trail and leaping to his death from Angel Peak. 

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Book review: Clasp

THE story of how Doireann Ní Ghríofa started writing poetry six years ago is bizarre but also somewhat fitting for this warm, dreamy and gentle writer who was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary 2014-2015 by Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.

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Book review: This House Is Not For Sale

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any Nigerian writer who ends up in the United States is still reeling from the after-affects of their vivid childhood. And EC Osondu is no exception.

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Book review: On Some Faraway Beach

FANS of U2 will probably know the story of how Larry Mullen and later Bono had to repeatedly court Brian Eno to convince him to work with them on changing their sound.

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Book review: The Killing Of Bobbi Lomax

We’re into the action from page one in Cal Moriarty’s thriller The Killing Of Bobbi Lomax, as cynical detective Marty Sinclair and his partner Al Alvarez rush to the scene of a bombing.

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Book review: Mockingbird Songs

RJ Ellory puts you deep in the heart of Texas in his new crime thriller Mockingbird Songs — a simple backstory is dealt with quickly enough to put you straight into the main plot.

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Children’s books

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph (Harper Collins €8.80) tells of Penguin and his brand new kite. 

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Book review: History of a Suicide

by Jill Bialosky
Granta, €26.85; ebook, €16.10
THEY say blues music is not made to get you into blue humour but to get you out of it. 

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Book review: The Defence

In the real world Steve Cavanagh is a Belfast lawyer who explained to Declan Burke how an exceptional advocate can convince a jury black is actually white.

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Book review: The Green Road

Anne Enright’s latest novel The Green Road is set on that great Irish battleground — the family. She spoke to Caroline O’Doherty about the institution and all its foibles — and trying to be an inspiring teacher.

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Book review: Billie Holiday: The Musician & The Myth

By John Szwed
Cornerstone, €29.50; ebook €14.99

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Book review: A Song Of Shadows

By John Connolly
Hodder and Staughton

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Book review: Lock No. 1

Georges Simenon (translated by David Coward)
Penguin Classics, €10.50; ebook, €6.49

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Book review: All I Know Now: Wonderings And Reflections On Growing Up Gracefully

By Carrie Hope Fletcher
Sphere, €16.99; ebook 9.49
Okay, it’s official: YouTubers are taking over the world. 

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Book review: Pond

By Claire-Louise Bennett
The Stinging Fly Press; €12.99
AN unnamed woman lives on the edge of a coastal village in the west of Ireland. 

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Children’s books

All Aboard The Dinosaur Express
by Timothy Knapman and Ed Eaves
(Bloomsbury €8.80.)

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The Girl on The Train is a one-way ticket to success for Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins is glad she took a gamble with The Girl On The Train, writes Tony Clayton-Lea

This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Book review: The Night Game

Frank Golden

Salmon, €12

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Book review: Wilful Disregard a Novel about Love

Lena Andersson (translated by Sarah Death)

Picador, €19.50; ebook, €10.20

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Book review: Alfred Hitchcock

Peter Ackroyd is one of the most productive and elegant biographers writing in English today but is often accused of not uncovering anything new about his subjects. That doesn’t matter, he tells Tony Clayton-Lea

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The Bear Whispers To Me

Chang Ying-Tai (translated by Darryl Sterk)

Balestier Press, €15.35; Kindle, €12.55

 

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Book review: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematorium

Caitlin Doughty Canongate,€20.55; ebook, €13.64

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Book review: Villa America

American author Liza Klaussmann speaks to Sue Leonard about the toll the creative process can take on the imagination, particularly when writing fiction about factual characters 

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Book review: The Science Of Happiness

Stefan Klein Scribe Publications, £12.99; ebook, €18.68

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Book review: Disclaimer

Disclaimer

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Children’s books

Who Is King? By Beverley Naidoo and Piet GrobIer (Frances Lincoln €18.90). 

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Book review: The Lives of Women

Christine Dwyer Hickey is a woman in a hurry — she fears she might run out of time before she gets to write all the books she wants to. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her race against time and her latest book.

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Book review: How Corrupt is Britain?

DAVID WHYTE opens his edited collection, How Corrupt is Britain?, by arguing that “the idea that British institutions are fair and democratic is one of the foundation stones of our self-imagined national heritage”.

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Book review: The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation

New Scienist stalwart Fred Pearce’s new book is a richly-exemplified and controversial defense of invasive species. 

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Book review: Outline

“I had come to believe more and more in the virtues of passivity,” claims the narrator of Rachel Cusk’s Outline, “and of living a life as unmarked by self-will as possible.”

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Book review: The Wolf Border

TENSION runs under the narrative of this fine novel like a river under a cave. 

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Book review: Inside The O’Briens

Following the success of the big-screen adaptation of Lisa Genova’s debut novel, Still Alice — an exploration of Alzheimer’s disease — the Harvard-educated neuroscientist’s fourth novel, Inside The O’Briens, cements her reputation. 

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Book review: The Salmon Who Dared To Leap Higher

Novels designed to appeal to both adults and children are doomed because simplistic language disinterests the former group, or contextual complexities confuse the latter. 

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Book review: Station Eleven

ON A SNOWY winter’s evening in Toronto, a famous actor named Arthur Leander dies on stage during a performance of King Lear. 

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Children’s books

One Thousand Things by Anna Koveceses
(Frances Lincoln €16.35 HB)
This big colourful book is the perfect introduction to the world of words for pre-school youngsters. 

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Children’s Books

You Can’t Take An Elephant On The Bus, by Patricia Cleveland (Bloomsbury; €8.80) Elephant yearns to travel, but trying to board the bus is a definite no! 

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Book Review: The Lost Child

THIS latest work of fiction by the West Indies-born writer and Yale professor is as much a personal journey of discovery as it is a literary gem.

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Book Review: Adeline: A Novel Of Virginia Woolf

SPANNING 1925 to 1941, this richly imagined novel of Virginia Woolf delves deep into her psyche, drawing perhaps too heavily on the biography written by Hermione Lee, which lends it enormous accuracy.

 

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Book Review: The Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Arguing

THE key to any good novel is to perfect your main character into someone the reader feels they have got to know. And Melissa Kite hits the nail on the head on that front.

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FIRST THOUGHTS: Vargas Llosa fails to reach the heights of past

FOR the first three quarters of this 325-page novel, Peruvian master, Mario Vargas Llosa seems to be spinning, in alternating chapters, two quite separate — albeit thematically similar — yarns.

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BEGINNER’S PLUCK: Carole Gurnett

As a child, Carole wrote long diary entries and letters to anyone who would reply, and as a teenager she wrote short stories. Some were published, and others shortlisted in competitions. 

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Book Review: Last Night on Earth

JAY has been raised by his mother on a diet of ‘gods, monsters, lambs, virgins and fillums, fillums, fillums.’

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Book Review: The Moth Snowstorm Nature and Joy

What is the economic value of birdsong, butterflies spring wild flowers, or a rising trout? These are some questions posed in a riveting new book on nature, writes Dick Warner.

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Book Review: Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake

A FEW years ago, the writer Sarah Webb was staying in a yurt on Cape Clear Island, off the west Cork coast.

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Author profile: Life in the fast lane for Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh’s new novel, A Decent Ride, follows swaggering taxi driver ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson around Edinburgh. It’s another tale of hard-living in Scotland, even as Welsh mixes with celebrities in the US, writes Richard Fitzpatrick.           

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The Four Books

Like many of Lianke’s works, The Four Books is unavailable in his native China; unsurprising, given its subject is the murderous stupidity of the 1958-61 ‘Great Leap Forward’ — its massive, avoidable death toll still obfuscated by rulers.

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A Place Called Winter

Notes From An Exhibition author Patrick Gale’s first historical novel opens rather unnervingly with his protagonist Harry Cane being strapped into a bath.

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Author profile: Steve Cavanagh

AS a lawyer, Steve has conducted several high profile cases. In 2010, representing a factory worker, he won the largest award for damages in race discrimination in Northern Ireland’s legal history.

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What Becomes of Us: A voice to the voiceless

Reimagining the role of Irish women in the 1916 Rising opened several doors for Henrietta McKervey and helped her to develop her writing which has won her numerous prizes, writes Sue Leonard.            

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If you imagine you really know what you’re eating think again

 Joanna Blythman has taken a look at what we eat and how the food industry is often so misleading. Her conclusions killed Richard Fitzpatrick’s appetite    

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Deadly Intent: Thriller set on the Beara peninsula

ONE of the reasons Irish crime writing took so long to develop as a body of work is Ireland lacked the kind of large, anonymous urban settings where crime fiction tends to thrive. 

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Forgetting: Myths,Perils And Compensations

Forgetting is an odd thing: Everyone does it, but by definition cannot discuss it in much detail. Dutch psychologist and ‘memory scholar’ Draaisma makes a game attempt to explore this paradox from numerous viewpoints.

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Children’s books

THOSE PESKY RABBITS by Ciara Flood (Templar €8. 80)

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Seven madmen get author’s seal of approval in magical Argentina

IMAGINE Dostoevsky and Flann O’Brien had an adventure and you got to hear about it second-hand from Haruki Murakami. That is what it is like to read Roberto Arlt’s 1929 novel Los Siete Locos — or, as it is presented here, The Seven Madmen — a rollicking and prescient dive through the anxieties of an urban Argentina on the cusp of transformation.

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In the ‘enchanted’ dungeon there is nothing to do but wait

IN the belly of an old prison is a dungeon, an ‘enchanted place’, that houses Death Row inmates, and it is here that York waits out his final months before the lethal injection is administered.

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