I’ve decided to take a small break from The Queen of Crime’s novels and turn to Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series. I haven’t read novels by Simenon before, but I gather that he was a prolific writer – his Inspector Maigret series alone has 75 novels and 28 short stories. Pietr the Latvian written in […]

… You haven’t any idea how sick I am of all the phony talk about Communism – and the phony talk of the other lot too, if it comes to that. You people are exactly alike, whatever you call yourselves – Untouchable. Indispensable is the motto, and you’d pine to death if you hadn’t someone […]

Because I’ve had more hits than misses with NYRB classics, nowadays I don’t even read the descriptions when I buy them. So far my criteria for buying NYRB classics has been whether or not they are selling at a discount, so bought on that basis, I had no clue that Victorine is a story about a […]

Coming to London is J. B. Priestley’s reminiscences of his early days in London in 1920s. After working as a University Extension lecturer upon his degree completion at Cambridge, Priestly had decided to move to London to freelance. As a newly-wed with less than fifty pounds at hand, striking on his own might have been […]

Fire in the Blood‘s narrator, Silvio leads a quiet life in a small farming village in France. He had spent his youth traveling the world with his string of exotic lovers, but now he is old and lives by himself. The novella begins with a visit paid to Silvio by Helen, his distant cousin, with […]

Full moonlight drenched the city and searched it; there was not a niche left to stand in. The effect was remorseless: London looked like the moon’s capital – shallow, cratered, extinct. It was late, but not yet midnight; now the buses had stopped the polished roads and streets in this region sent for minutes together […]

I’ve never been drawn to non-fiction books, as much as I am to fiction, but lately, I’ve been making a conscious attempt to dive into the non-fiction world. So I bought Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, my first non-fiction in years while I was in the UK. However, despite my best intentions, I couldn’t […]

The Wall describes a near-death experience of a firefighter on a night during air raids in London. At 3.00 AM in the morning, the unnamed narrator is out fighting a blaze with three of his fellow firefighters. The building is a five-storied Victorian warehouse, and it is their third job that night. They all are […]

In 1857, when Chapatis begin to appear mysteriously in the most unexpected of places, only Mr. Hopkins, the Collector for East India Company senses danger. His attempts to warn others fall on deaf ears. Yes, the British made a mistake in handling religious matters in India, but surely the native Indians wouldn’t want to reject […]

This is a very short review! I read Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair awhile back. I liked his writing, but the plot not so much – I was put off by the long talks of God – which pained me at the time because I was hoping Greene would be a good pick […]

Major Brendan Archer meets Angela one afternoon in 1916 while he was on home leave. When letters come pouring for him to the trenches, signed ‘Your loving fiancee, Angela,’ it seems like Brendan may have acquired himself a fiancee without having any recollection of it. So after the war ends in 1919, Brendan goes to […]

A Forsyte Encounters the People, 1917 is from John Galsworthy’s novel On Forsyte ‘Change. Galsworthy who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932 wrote a number of books on the Forsyte family. Even though On Forsyte ‘Change is not a part of The Forsyte Saga, it looks into the lives of older Forsytes before the […]

Hogarth Shakespeare’s latest novel, Dunbar is Edward St. Aubyn’s take on the Bard of Avon’s famous tragedy King Lear. I wasn’t familiar with King Lear story, but I didn’t buy the original play like last time because I assumed Dunbar will contain a summarized account of King Lear. However, it didn’t, and I had to […]

I think most of you would be familiar with the story of Joseph Merrick thanks to the 1980 movie, The Elephant Man. I haven’t watched the movie, but I had a vague idea of who Joseph Merrick was before reading Dr. Frederick Treves first-hand account from the book, The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences. For […]

In 2014 Patrick Modiano who is called “Marcel Proust of our time” won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation.” He was a well-known writer in France at the time, but he was not popular […]