I quite like unlikeable characters but I may have met my match with these despicable people. In The Dinner by Herman Koch, we have a narrator, somewhat sympathetic, who slowly emerges as unreliable and less and less likeable, as do the people around him. The more you learn, the more bitter the taste in your … Continue reading Don’t invite me to this dinner
The first pages of Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart will fill you with dread. Peril drips from every word, the two men with 'slitted eyes' itchy to be leaving 'hands ferreting inside their trouser pockets as they peeled their ball sacks from their thighs'. Mungo looks up at his mother waving from their tenement window. … Continue reading Young Mungo: Not for the faint-hearted
Anonymous viciously murdered women are strewn throughout Evie Wyld's The Bass Rock. The characters are unnamed as they would be in a fairy tale; the girl, the master, the footman... “It’s just a feeling I have all the time that I’m walking in and out of these deaths and I should at least notice. I … Continue reading Are you a wolf or a fox?
It never occurred to me that women were the first brewers of beer. Yet, so obvious. They were the bakers of the bread and the stokers of the fire, the homemakers. Beer was an integral part of the families' diets. Women were making alcohol all over the world. Then men realised there was money and … Continue reading Women who drink: feminism and alcohol
The Pocket Bookclub celebrates the year's end with the usual wine, cheese and food, and each member votes for their favourite and less favourite read of the year. The year is bookended with joint-favourite reads in January and November (blue dots). There was a reluctance to place the (orange) less favourite dots, indicating a good … Continue reading Pocket Bookclub 2022
It is nearly 100 years since Aldous Huxley envisaged a dystopian world of promiscuity, consumerism and genetic engineering. How much like today is the world he built? Fun fact: Huxley was into psychedelic drugs and Hindu philosophy. Less fun fact: Huxley died on the same day as CS Lewis, the same day John F Kennedy … Continue reading Do we live in a Brave New World?
My entry to Nick Cave's music was the Murder Ballads album, specifically the duet with Kylie Minogue, Where the Wild Roses Grow. By its very name, it is clearly an album chocker block with narrative songs. I love a song with a narrative. My first loves were songs like Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the … Continue reading The Cave of Nick: Grief, Optimism and Creativity
The victors write history. This is why the day we 'celebrate' Australia is the anniversary of the day Captian Philip of the First Fleet planted the British flag at Sydney Cove. The day is also Invasion Day. As a white person of German (and other) heritage, I have to acknowledge my family's role in taking … Continue reading Rewriting history: The Commandant
This one time, I got addicted to ancestory.com. It would get dark and I would begin to think, I'm tired. Then I would realise it was 2 in the morning. I had to find sleep before 9 to 5 of my workday! Devotion by Hannah Kent retriggered my addiction. On my first read of Devotion, … Continue reading Devotion/Obession
I was hopeful, Charlotte McConaghy's Once There Were Wolves starts with a quote from Angela Carter on wolves. It was not immediately downhill from there but there was a turning point that destroyed the book for me. I literally shouted at a character. At the author. I said no, don't. Please no! I have to … Continue reading Once There Were Wolves: The Human Predator