All posts tagged: 1930s

Late to the Party: The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes (2013)

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books

In 1989, a university student and aspiring journalist named Kirby Mazrachi is horribly attacked and mutilated by a would-be killer while walking her dog on the beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Her attacker seemingly disappears into nothingness, and by 1992 Kirby finds herself slowly becoming obsessed with tracking him, using the resources available to her via an internship at the Chicago Sun-Times, and her friendship with a retired crime reporter named Dan Velasquez. Meanwhile, […]

Late to the Party: Old Filth, by Jane Gardam (2004)

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books

Some long-time readers of this blog may recall my struggle to finish reading Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time, a twelve-book long cycle of books taking place mostly in London between the two World Wars. The short review of Dance? Don’t bother. I read six out of the twelve books and was basically bored silly the whole time, as Powell was much more interested in looking at different social strata of England pre-1939 […]

Review: Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, by Robert Hough

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books

Musical Accompaniment: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, from the Bioshock Infinite OST (Courtnee Draper — vocal, Troy Baker — guitar) Mexico: 1931. Across the Rio Grande from Texas lies Corazon de la Fuente, a small pueblo that is still ravaged from years of warfare, revolutionary governments and the ensuing crippling poverty. In strides Dr. Romulus Brinkley, who promises salvation and a much-needed cash injection to the town if they’ll let him build an incredibly high-powered […]

Late to the Party: Boxer, Beetle, by Ned Beauman

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books

When Kevin “Fishy” Broom, a collector of Nazi memorabilia, stumbles upon a secret communique from Adolf Hitler to an English aristocrat named Erskine, he uncovers a mystery that has lain dormant in England for seventy years, involving home-grown fascism, rogue entomology, avant-garde piano composition, a century-spanning eugenics project, steam-powered architecture and a young Jewish boxer named Seth Roach. While I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the author’s followup, The Teleportation Accident, […]

Late to the Party: The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman

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books / film noir

  This was a great book. A breakneck mix of Pynchonesque rollicking party scenes, hardboiled dialogue, a milieu that recalls Isherwood, Orwellian down-and-outs, with the spectre of Lovecraft lurking around the proceedings from the 8th page onward, Ned Beauman’s second novel more than deserved to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and has me eager to read his first, Boxer, Beetle. Egon Loeser, whose name I alternated between pronouncing as “loser” and “laser” in […]

The Resolution Project Season Two: A Dance to the Music of Time Book Six – The Kindly Ones (1962)

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books / the resolution project

The Resolution Project Season Two: For my New Year’s resolution last year (2011), I decided to try and read all one hundred of the novels picked by Time Magazine as the best since their inception in 1923 to the list’s publication in 2005. I got almost halfway through. I’ve decided to bull-headedly push on through and try and finish the challenge, continuing with the same caveat as before: I’ve exempted myself from reading books I’ve already read, leaving eighty-six […]

The Resolution Project Season Two: A Dance to the Music of Time Book Five – Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant (1960)

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books / the resolution project

Musical Accompaniment: The Clash, “Spanish Bombs” The Resolution Project Season Two: For my New Year’s resolution last year (2011), I decided to try and read all one hundred of the novels picked by Time Magazine as the best since their inception in 1923 to the list’s publication in 2005. I got almost halfway through. I’ve decided to bull-headedly push on through and try and finish the challenge, continuing with the same caveat as before: I’ve exempted myself from […]

The Resolution Project Season Two: A Dance to the Music of Time Book Four – At Lady Molly’s (1957)

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books / the resolution project

“There is something overpowering, even a trifle sinister about very large families, the individual members of which often possess in excess the characteristics commonly attributed to ‘only’ children: misanthropy: neurasthenia: an ability to adapt themselves: all the traits held to be the result of a lonely upbringing. The corporate life of large families can be lived with severity, even barbarity, of a kind unknown in smaller related communities: these savageries and distillations of egoism often […]

The Resolution Project Season Two: The Man Who Loved Children (Part Two)

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books / the resolution project

“Henny, never speaking to him, heard him with fright; but she had given herself up entirely to despair; she said nothing, and it seemed to her that (now that the clouds had rolled away) she saw her husband for the first time: she had married a child whose only talent was an air of engaging helplessness by which he got the protection of certain goodhearted people – Saul Pilgrim, who was penniless, various old Socialists, […]

The Resolution Project Season Two: The Man Who Loved Children (Part One)

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books / the resolution project

“Henny daily revealed the hypocrisy of Sam, and Sam found it his painful duty to say that Henny was a born liar. Each of them struggled to keep the children, not to deliver them into the hands of the enemy: but the children were not taking it in at all. Their real feelings were made up of the sensations received in the respective singsongs and treasure hunts.” (p. 33) The Resolution Project Season Two: For my New […]