Archives » Other fiction

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

Book Two, The Neapolitan Novels. Youth.

Europa Editions, 2015, 467 p. Translated from the Italian Storia del nuovo cognome (Edizioni E/O, 2012) by Ann Goldstein.

 The Story of a New Name cover

I was not overly impressed by Ferrante’s first novel of her Neapolitan Cycle, My Brilliant Friend, and wasn’t actively seeking out any more of them. I saw, though, the remainder of the quartet priced very reasonably in a second-hand book shop and felt I couldn’t pass them by. I’m now glad that I did, for this second instalment seemed to have much more to commend it than the first. There was certainly a better flow to the narrative.

This may be because this book didn’t have the almost relentless focus on courses taken and exams passed that the first had – those are still here but muted by the fact that narrator Elena Greco is by and large undertaking these herself and not contrasting her successes and failures so much with her comperes – or that her attention has shifted to gender relationships.

There is naturally more focus here on sexual politics than in a book about childhood friends. Her brilliant friend Lila’s marriage is blighted from the start by the conflict sown by that incident at the end of Book One of the trilogy where the shoes she designed were given on her wedding day by her husband-to-be to her sworn enemy. Lila is immediately subjected to that physical chastisement by her husband – prompted by the desire to be seen to be a man and followed by the phrase, “look what you’ve made me do ,” – to which women of her milieu seem to be resigned and turn a blind eye to in others. But dark glasses can only cover so much. Curiously, Elena’s first boyfriend, Antonio, despite his seeking (and selfishness for) his own sexual pleasure at her hands, behaves with sanctimonious (albeit in his case temporary) abnegation by denying her similar succour on the one occasion when she implicitly offers her body to him.

One aspect that seemed out of kilter, though, for all her academic excellence, was Elena’s apparent obliviousness to the wider world. She contrasts her lack of self-assurance, of knowing how to behave, the attitudes to have, in comparison to that of the scions of the middle class she meets in her high school and – later – University days. Her school professor more or less introduces her to newspapers – which Elana confesses to finding boring and confusing, under the influence of a University boyfriend she affects interest in left-wing politics but she never seems to connect them to her childhood neighbourhood. Poverty is something that simply exists, to be struggled against, naturally, but not considered systemic or alterable. Lila is of the opinion “that there was nothing that could eliminate the conflict between the rich and the poor,” because those at the bottom always want to be on top and those who are on top want to stay on top.

Nunzia, Lila’s mother, has one of the most striking lines in the book, ‘For your whole life you love people and you never really know who they are,” while Nella, the mother of the object of Elena’s unrequited affections, Nino Sarratore, in relation to Lila’s attractions tells Elena of men’s great fear in the face of female beauty, “that their thingy won’t function or it will fall off or she’ll pull a knife and cut it off.”

From certain incidents (most notably the narrator’s eventual loss of virginity being referred to as reproduced in detail in a later fictionalised telling) it would seem we are being invited to assume that Elena’s story is a disguised account of Ferrante’s own life but that would be to deny any degree of authorial artifice. In any case our narrator’s coming to wider prominence is not pseudonymous as ‘Ferrante’’s is in the real world. There is certainly a density of apparently lived experience, a proliferation of detail, a fecundity of (re)construction; but it is an author’s job to try to represent the world.

And once again, the novel ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. Not portending as much of a potential conflict between characters as that in My Brilliant Friend but a tease just the same.

Pedant’s corner:- In one of the blurbs at the front: “both The Days of Atonement and Troubling Love are tour de forces” (tours de force that would be.) In the Index of Characters; “Elena, who likes the story a lot, and gives it to” (no need for the “and”.) Otherwise: “I knew only I was not what I wanted at that moment,” (it was not what I wanted,) insure (ensure,) enroll (enrol,) milleniums (millennia,) curtsey (curtsy,) “I handed in my … tests when my schoolmates … had barely started on it.”

Ian Sales’s 2010s

The last of Ian’s lists in response to the BBC’s one. He’s appended the whole 100 at the end of his final post.

I’ve read six of these but can’t remember if I read D C Compton’s Synthajoy back in the day.

Women of Wonder is on my tbr pile.

81 Lady Chatterley’s Lover, DH Lawrence (1928, UK)
82 Seven Miles Down, Jacques Piccard & Robert S Dietz (1961, USA)
83 Synthajoy, DG Compton (1968, UK)
84 China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F McHugh (1992, USA)
85 Correspondence, Sue Thomas (1991, UK)
86 Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (2013, USA)
86 God’s War, Kameron Hurley (2011, USA)
88 Evening’s Empire, David Herter (2002, USA)
89 Spomeniks, Jan Kempenaers (2010, Belgium)
90 The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers (1946, USA)
91 Leviathan Wakes, James A Corey (2011, USA)
92 Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place, Malcolm Lowry (1961, Canada)
93 Girl Reading, Katie Ward (2011, UK)
94 The Wall Around Eden, Joan Slonczewski (1989, USA)
95 Women of Wonder, Pamela Sargent, ed. (1974, USA)
96 HHhH, Laurent Binet (2012, France)
97 The End of Days, Jenny Erpenbeck (2012, Germany)
98 Nocilla Dream, Agustín Fernández Mallo (2006, Spain)
99 Party Going, Henry Green (1939, UK)
100 The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (1931, USA)

Mexica by Norman Spinrad

Abacus, 2006, 510 p.

Mexica cover

Spinrad is no stranger to readers of Science Fiction, coming to prominence around the time of the New Wave with works such as Bug Jack Barron and The Iron Dream (an Altered History SF novel whose author was supposedly Adolf Hitler.) In the early part of this century, though, he took a turn into historical fiction with The Druid King, about Julius Caesar’s adversary Vercingetorix the Gaul. Mexica is his take on conquistador Hernán Cortés (in the text always referred to as Hernando Cortes) one of History’s supreme adventurers – or villains, depending on your viewpoint.

Our narrator is Cortés’s companion, and unwilling advisor, Avram ibn Ezra (an Arabised form of the Jewish Ben Ezra,) who was baptised Alvaro Escribiente de Granada since being a Jew in the newly united Christian Spain under the scrutiny of the Inquisition was not a healthy prospect. This choice allows the narrative to distance itself both from the brutal Christianity of the Spanish invaders and from the sanguinary religious practices of the indigenous Mexica and their vassals. (Only once or twice is the word Aztec mentioned. This apparently was an insulting term deriving from the bumpkinish highlands down from which the Mexica came to replace their predecessors, the Toltecs, whom the Mexica still revered, after that earlier people had vanished into the east.)

It is arguably a necessary choice, as religion mattered. For how else can a few hundred men bring down a mighty empire? In this telling the Mexica – or at least their emperor Montezuma – were undone by their beliefs. The Toltec god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, was prophesied to come back from the east with a light skin whereupon the fifth world (that of the Mexica) would end and the sixth begin. On hearing of the arrival of the Spaniards Montezuma awaits a sign from his god of war, Huitzilopochtli, as to their true nature, and receives none. A native woman, Malinal (known to present day Mexicans as Malinche but here dubbed Marina by the Spaniards as it’s easier for them to pronounce,) a princess of one the Mexica’s vassal states, sold into slavery when they were defeated, takes up with Cortés and, aided by Alvaro, becomes his translator. She it is who nudges Cortés (despite his own religious qualms) into affecting the appearance, and, in native eyes, substance, of Quetzalcoatl. The prospect of not having to pay blood tribute to the Mexica in the form of the hearts of their young men also leans on the Mexican vassals whom Cortés enlists as allies, vassals all but mystified at the thought of a god who gives his flesh and blood to be eaten by his worshippers rather than requiring their own of his believers.

It was still a very long shot, emphasised when after a couple of military victories against allies of the Mexica on the journey to the central high plateau, Alvaro briefly views through the clouds the magnificence of the Mexica capital Tenochtitlan, from the mountain pass above. The city was built on a series of lakes and joined to the surrounding land by four causeways. An impregnable fortress it would seem.

Later, after falling in love with the place, Alvaro wonders, “How could the civilization that had built Tenochtitlan rip out human hearts on such a bloody altar?” but also, “How could the civilization of the Prince of Peace who commanded men to love their neighbours as themselves burn human beings at the stake in his name? How could those who worshipped an Allah who was styled the Beneficent and Merciful behead the infidels who would not bow down to him?”

Whle the central figure here is always Cortés, the most sympathetic and tragic is Montezuma, who is entrapped and imprisoned by Cortés and thus in conversations with Alvaro vouchsafes to the reader his philosophy. Here is a man who, in trying to do the best by his gods as he sees them, loses not only his empire, his people and his city, but also his life. That those gods were horrific taskmasters and not worthy of any such soul-searching or devotion does not diminish this. Religious beliefs make people do strange and bewildering things. From his religious perspective Alvaro sees, “This is the crime for which I have no name. Having conquered their lands, now we were conquering their spirit.”

Mostly a self-serving – not to mention greedy – hypocrite and casuist there are contradictions too in Cortés’s behaviour, illustrated when he gives full military honours to the dead Montezuma and Alvaro tells us, “There were so many reasons for me to hate Hernando Cortes…. But … there were moments …., when no matter how I tried, I found it impossible not to love the bastard.”

Before the story gathers momentum with the landing in Central America the reflective nature of Alvaro’s account can be a little tedious. The text is liberally larded with the word ‘thereof’ and vocative asides to “dear reader”, a tendency which drops out when the action sets in only to reappear many pages later. ‘Alvaro’’s intent in setting this down is to expose and expiate his guilt at the part he played in the downfall of the Mexica and the beautiful city they constructed. But in the end he rationalises that, “..it could not have been prevented. Even if Columbus had never set sail it could not have been prevented, for Europe had the ships, and sooner or later someone would have discovered this New World.” The fulfilment of Montezuma’s omen was inevitable. “For this new world held treasure and unbounded virgin land unknown in the tired old one, and Europe had the greed to covet and the means to sieze it.” The greatest devastator of the Mexica though, would be what Alvaro names as the small pox, a weapon more deadly to the natives than either cannon or arquebus. The Mexica live on, however, in the adaptation of their name to that of the modern day country sitting on their lands, a process which had begun even in Cortés’s time.

Alvaro’s profoundest thoughts are however inspired by the much older civilisation that built the huge pyramids at Teotihuacan, whose people were forgotten even by the Mexica. “This was not a New World. This was a world old beyond imagining…. Five worlds come and gone … And now the breaking of the fifth and the coming of the sixth.” He consoles himself with the thought that in the end great events do not matter; civilisations amd conquerors may come and go but, “It is in the small things that life comes closest to eternity.”

Pedant’s corner:- Cortes’ (innumerable instances, Cortes’s,) sprung (sprang,) “to the point where no one dare approach him” (the narrative is in past tense so, ‘no one dared’ – and ‘no one’ ought to be ‘no-one’,) maws (mouths was the intended meaning, not stomachs,) imposter (I prefer impostor,) “but more than not wearing only simple cotton shifts” (more often than not is a more usual construction,) “in a foreign land as Britain might be to a Spaniard” (there was no Britain as a foreign ‘land’ (in a political sense) in the time of Cortes – only the geographical island.)

Best of 2019

These are the books that stood out from my reading this year – in order of when I read them. 7 by men, 6 by women. 3 were SF or Fantasy.

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land by John Crowley
Hy Brasil by Margaret Elphinstone
Shiloh by Shelby Foote
A Strangeness in my Mind by Orhan Pamuk
The Lantern Bearers by Ronald Frame
Gone Are the Leaves by Anne Donovan
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
A Pass in the Grampians by Nan Shepherd
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Reading Scotland 2019

This was my Scottish reading (including a Scottish setting) in 2019.

Those in bold were in that list of 100 best Scottish Books.

15 by women, 15 by men, one non-fiction,* two with fantastical elements.

The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark
A Concussed History of Scotland by Frank Kuppner
Romanno Bridge by Andrew Greig
Winter by Ali Smith
Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land by John Crowley
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
Tunes of Glory by James Kennaway
Hy Brasil by Margaret Elphinstone
Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle
The Land the Ravens Found by Naomi Mitchison
The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark
Independence by Alasdair Gray*
The Lantern Bearers by Ronald Frame
Gone Are the Leaves by Anne Donovan
Children of the Dead End by Patrick MacGill
A Pass in the Grampians by Nan Shepherd
Brond by Frederic Lindsay
The Bullet Trick by Louise Welsh
The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams
Its Colours They Are Fine by Alan Spence
Reality, Reality by Jackie Kay
Salem Chapel by Mrs Oliphant
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Spring by Ali Smith
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner
Jelly Roll by Luke Sutherland
The Citadel by A J Cronin

Memoirs of a Spacewoman by Naomi Mitchison
Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre

Ian Sales’s 1990s

In posts here and here, covering the 1980s and 1970s respectively, I have mentioned Ian Sales’s response to the BBC’s list of 100 Books that Shaped Our World .

This is his list for the 1990s.

Again, those in bold I have read. Not surprisingly they are all SF novels. A couple of these which I haven’t read I will now look out for:-

The Innocent, Ian McEwan (1990)
Use of Weapons, Iain M Banks (1990)
Take Back Plenty, Colin Greenland (1990)
Raft, Stephen Baxter (1991)
The Brains of Rats, Michael Blumlein (1989)
Semiotext(e) SF, Rudy Rucker, Peter Lamborn Wilson & Robert Anton Wilson, eds. (1989)
Metrophage, Richard Kadrey (1988)
Dreamside, Graham Joyce (1991)
Iris, William Barton & Michael Capobianco (1990)
A Vision of Battlements, Anthony Burgess (1965)
How Far Can You Go?, David Lodge (1980)
Angel at Apogee, SN Lewitt (1987)
C is for Corpse, Sue Grafton (1986)
Guardian Angel, Sara Paretsky (1992)
Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell (1957)
An Exchange of Hostages, Susan R Matthews (1997)
Bending the Landscape: Fantasy, Nicola Griffith & Stephen Pagel (1997)
Coelestis, Paul Park(1993)
Holy Fire, Bruce Sterling (1996)
Cotillion, Georgette Heyer (1953)
The Master Mariner, Nicholas Monsarrat (1978)
The Second Angel, Philip Kerr (1998)
The Children of Anthi, Jay D Blakeney (1985)

Ian Sales’s 1980s

In a previous post I posted about Ian’s first list in response to the BBC’s 100 books that shaped the world.

These are his influencers from the 1980s.

Bold means I have read them. Only 7 out of 24 here.

The Undercover Aliens, (aka The House That Stood Still) AE Van Vogt (1950)
The Winds of Gath, EC Tubb (1967).
The Book of Alien, Paul Scanlon & Michael Gross (1979)
The Dune Encyclopedia, Willis E McNelly, ed. (1984)
The Future Makers, Peter Haining, ed. (1968)
Dhalgren, Samuel R Delany (1975)
The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe (1979)
The Far Pavilions, MM Kaye (1978)
Iceberg, Clive Cussler (1975)
The Complete Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy Lists, Malcolm Edwards & Maxim Jakubowski (1983)
Radix, AA Attanasio (1981)
The Barbie Murders, John Varley (1980)
Serpent’s Reach, CJ Cherryh (1980)
The Science Fiction Sourcebook, David Wingrove (1984)
The War for Eternity, Christopher Rowley (1983)
Under a Calculating Star, John Morressy (1975)
Where Time Winds Blow, Robert Holdstock (1981)
Knight Moves, Walter Jon Williams (1985)
Kairos, Gwyneth Jones (1988)
The Space Mavericks, Michael Kring (1980)
The Female Man, Joanna Russ (1975)
The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe (1972)
The Five Gold Bands, Jack Vance (1950)
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K Le Guin (1969)

Chris Priest’s list

In response to the BBC’s list of 100 books that shaped the world Christopher Priest has blogged his 100 ‘key’ titles.

As usual the ones in bold I have read. (20 here. Others are on my tbr pile.) If asterisked I have read part of the works mentioned. Question marks mean I can’t remember if I read it in the long ago.

01. Penguin SF Ed. Brian Aldiss
02. Non-Stop Brian Aldiss
03. New Maps of Hell Kingsley Amis
04. The Green Man Kingsley Amis
05. The Four-Dimensional Nightmare J G Ballard
06. Vermilion Sands J G Ballard
07. The Twins at St Clare’s Enid Blyton
08. The Castle of Adventure Enid Blyton
09. The Mountain of Adventure Enid Blyton
10. 2666 Roberto Bolaño
11. Last Evenings on Earth Roberto Bolaño
12. Don’t Point that Thing at Me Kyril Bonfiglioli
13. Fictions Jorge Luis Borges
14. The Sheltering Sky Paul Bowles
15. The Silver Locusts Ray Bradbury
16. The Naked Island Russell Braddon
17. The Dam Busters Paul Brickhill
18. Project Jupiter Fredric Brown
19. What Mad Universe Fredric Brown
20. Rogue Moon Algis Budrys
21. Dark Avenues Ivan Bunin
22. The People’s War Angus Calder
23. That Summer in Paris Morley Callaghan
24. The Outsider Albert Camus
25. Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
26. No Moon Tonight Don Charlwood
27. Bomber Pilot Leonard Cheshire
28. The World in Winter John Christopher
29. The Second World War Winston S Churchill
30. The City and the Stars Arthur C Clarke
31. Mariners of Space Erroll Collins
32. Enemies of Promise Cyril Connolly
33. Fifth Business Robertson Davies
34. Complete Holmes Stories Sir Arthur Conan Doyle*
35. Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich
36. Who Killed Hanratty? Paul Foot
37. Modern English Usage H W Fowler
38. The French Lieutenant’s Woman John Fowles
39. The Magus John Fowles
40. Diaries Joseph Goebbels
41. Adventures in the Screen Trade William Goldman
42. The Killing of Julia Wallace Jonathan Goodman
43. Good-Bye to All That Robert Graves
44. A Sort of Life Graham Greene
45. The Quiet American Graham Greene
46. The Door into Summer Robert A Heinlein ???
47. Catch 22 Joseph Heller
48. A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway
49. Hiroshima John Hersey
50. Pictorial History of the War Walter Hutchinson
51. Biggles and the Cruise of the Condor W E Johns
52. Dubliners James Joyce
53. Ice Anna Kavan
54. A History of Warfare John Keegan
55. Fame Daniel Kehlmann
56. 10 Rillington Place Ludovic Kennedy
57. Jack the Ripper – The Final Solution Stephen Knight
58. Steps Jerzy Kosinski
59. The Painted Bird Jerzy Kosinski
60. Changing Places David Lodge
61. Small World David Lodge
62. The False Inspector Dew Peter Lovesey
63. High Tide Mark Lynas
64. Revolution in the Head Ian MacDonald
65. Calculated Risk Charles Eric Maine
66. The Caltraps of Time David I Masson
67. Owning Up George Melly
68. The Cruel Sea Nicholas Monsarrat
69. Pax Britannica James Morris
70. Song of the Sky Guy Murchie
71. A Severed Head Iris Murdoch
72. Collected Stories Vladimir Nabokov
73. Collected Essays George Orwell
74. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
75. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers Beatrix Potter
76. Invisibility Steve Richards
77. Pavane Keith Roberts
78. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Oliver Sacks
79. Collected Sonnets William Shakespeare*
80. Hamlet William Shakespeare
81. Pilgrimage to Earth Robert Sheckley
82. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
83. Larry’s Party Carol Shields
84. Mary Swann Carol Shields
85. On the Beach Nevil Shute
86. Loitering with Intent Muriel Spark
87. The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas Gertrude Stein
88. Earth Abides George R Stewart
89. Dracula Bram Stoker
90. The Murder of Rudolf Hess Hugh Thomas
91. Battle Cry Leon M Uris
92. No Night is Too Long Barbara Vine
93. Twins Peter Watson
94. The War of the Worlds H G Wells
95. The Time Machine H G Wells
96. Uncharted Seas Dennis Wheatley
97. Disappearances William Wiser
98. The Crazy Years William Wiser
99. The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham
100. The Kraken Wakes John Wyndham

Ian Sales’s List, Part 1

Ian Sales has taken a different tack in his approach to the BBC’s list of 100 Books that Shaped Our World.

He’s annotated his and split it up into the decades in which he read them, starting with the 1970s (thus there are books from the sixties in this first tranche.)

Again, those in bold I’ve read. Those in italics I have watched on TV. I doubt I read them as such.

Not surprisingly, since Ian and I are both into SF, I have a pretty good strike rate here; 8 out of 15.

The Golden Bird, Jan Pieńkowski & Edith Brill (1970)
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Alan Garner (1960).
Destination Moon, Hergé (1950).
Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan of the Apes, Burne Hogarth (1972)
The Red Moon Mystery, Frank Hampson (1951)
Doctor Who and the Zarbi, Bill Strutton (1965).
Gray Lensman, EE Doc Smith (1951)
The Trigan Empire, Don Lawrence & Mike Butterworth* (1965).
Jack of Eagles, James Blish (1952)
Time and Again, Clifford D Simak (1951)
Tactics of Mistake, Gordon R Dickson (1971).
Final Stage, Edward L Ferman & Barry N Malzberg (1974).
Dune, Frank Herbert(1966).
Traveller: Characters & Combat, Marc Miller (1977).

Ian has more recently posted his 1980s list. I will get round to that.

*In the weekly magazine Look and Learn.

Nina Allan’s List

This is Nina Allan’s response to the BBC’s list of 100 Books that shaped our world.

As usual the ones in bold I have read. (18. 19 if John Banville’s Shroud and Eclipse count as two.) Some others are on my tbr pile.

Borka: the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers by John Burningham

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Stig of the Dump by Clive King

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

Thursday’s Child by Noel Streatfield

‘Adventure’ series by Willard Price

The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

‘UNEXA’ series by Hugh Walters

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

‘Changes’ trilogy by Peter Dickinson

‘Tripods’ trilogy by John Christopher

The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Pavane by Keith Roberts

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

The Drought by J. G. Ballard

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Search for Christa T. by Christa Wolf

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann

Ada by Vladimir Nabokov

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

The Book and the Brotherhood by Iris Murdoch

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

The Affirmation by Christopher Priest

Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The Brimstone Wedding by Barbara Vine

The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Personality by Andrew O’Hagan

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick

The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe

Shroud/Eclipse by John Banville

My Tango with Barbara Strozzi by Russell Hoban

The Green Man by Kingsley Amis

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

Shriek: an afterword by Jeff VanderMeer

Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

Darkmans by Nicola Barker

Glister by John Burnside

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

The Kills by Richard House

A Russian Novel by Emmanuel Carrère

The Third Reich by Roberto Bolano

The Dry Salvages by Caitlin R. Kiernan

In the Shape of a Boar by Lawrence Norfolk

The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

The Accidental by Ali Smith

Happy Like Murderers by Gordon Burn

F by Daniel Kehlmann

Straggletaggle by J. M. McDermott

The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

The Loser by Thomas Bernhard

The Peppered Moth by Margaret Drabble

All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

The Infatuations by Javier Marias

Outline by Rachel Cusk

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates

This is Memorial Device by David Keenan

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Falling Man by Don DeLillo

Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Attrib. by Eley Williams

Berg by Ann Quin

When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy

Munich Airport by Greg Baxter

Caroline’s Bikini by Kirsty Gunn

Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz

The Sing of the Shore by Lucy Wood

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

free hit counter script