Review by

Out

Women take over in this gruesome Tokyo thriller

Intensely gory and plot driven, this is nevertheless a psychological thriller. Despite knowing “who dunnit” within the first 5 chapters, the anxiety the author winds about the reader is suffocating and convincing. Kirino delves into the psyche of the lead characters, four factory women struggling with personal hardships, and uncovers a simmering power behind the drab mundanity of their lives. Their situation subsequently intertwines with the seedier and rougher side of Tokyo life, and they soon find themselves in a, very tight, proverbial corner. Thriller extraordinaire.

 

Get Newsletters from Bookstoker

* = required field

Review by

Nagasaki

Observations on a side-life

This rather triste novella based on true events, is a poignant story of isolation in a modern world.  Through a mild sense of dread, Faye manages to simultaneously capture the flavour(less) world of the monotony and prescribed particularities of a Japanese ‘salaryman’ and the subsequent disruption based on the simple observation he makes one morning that someone seems to have drunk his juice. A uniquely gentle tale that takes on a thought-provoking exploration of the thin fabric separating the accepted world with the unacknowledged people on the fridges of society. Highly recommended.

 

Review by

Butterflies in November

Circinate adventure in Iceland

Perhaps Icelandic women are more forward thinking than the rest of us… or maybe they just aren’t?! Droll re-evaluations of what it means to be a woman, and an independent woman at that, in this quirky narrative of a road trip ‘into the wilderness’ after being simultaneously dumped by both lover and husband. Local insight: the irony being that there is only one road in Iceland, and it loops back on itself. Brilliant circular little adventure, full of the unnamed heroine’s sardonic wit and incongruous, but very human, weaknesses. The lack of moralising makes it a refreshing, light, read.

News by

Reading on the hoof – our favourite audio books

While some may say it’s ‘cheating’ to have a book read to you, others would argue it needn’t be instead of reading words on a page. But whether you choose to re-read these books on paper or are content to ‘only listen’, here are some of our favourite: good books read to us with great talent.

Read more

Review by

Of Mice and Men

A classic worth re-reading

I’d forgotten how good John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men really is. Just re-read it after many years and what a gem of a little story! In a mere 120 pages, Steinbeck dives deep into themes such as loneliness, dreams and loyalty while portraying the nomadic lives of ranch hands in America during the Great Depression. To top it off are the most exquisite descriptions of landscapes and farm life.

Read full Review

Review by

The Days of Abandonment

A 'sudden absence of sense'

How would you react if your partner one day walked out on you? In Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment Olga’s husband Mario announces, out of the blue, while clearing the table that he wants to leave her. Overwhelmed by grief, confusion and anger, Olga descends into madness in this raw, brutally honest story. The Days of Abandonment is explosive stuff – as we have come to expect from Ferrante – and all the better for it.

(This book is not part of the excellent, bestselling Neapolitan Novels series, two of which I have reviewed already (My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name) but it’s just as good.

Read full Review

News by

A Man Booker Prize Longlist with Punch

A good literary prize brings to light books that you’ve not necessarily heard of before. This year’s  Man Booker Prize longlist is an eminent example, pulling together a selection of 13 books from all corners of the world: Jamaica, New Zealand, India, the US, Ireland, Nigeria and the UK.

Read more

Review by

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

Fascinating insight, farts and all

I’ve been driving my family mad with trivia from this adorable best-selling book on the unglamorous subject of the digestive system. Did you know, for instance, that you have up to two kilos worth of micro-organisms living in your gut? Or that saliva is filtered blood? Or that plants make their seeds slightly poisonous in the hope that we won’t eat them. Nerdy stuff, I know, but quite fun nevertheless!

Read full Review

News by

Literary event of the decade?

Reviews of the most anticipated book of the decade, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the unpublished chronological sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, have been trickling in over the past few days in the lead up to its publication on the 14th July. There seems to be surprises in the book, which was actually written before the 1960s classic, but never published. Apparently, Atticus Finch, the defence lawyer, champion of suppressed blacks and the moral beacon of To Kill a Mockingbird, shows a darker side as a racist!

Read more