One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water opens with a disturbing scene – a young woman is bound by two or more men and drowned in icy water. There is no sense given of when this happened or who she is other than her name, Libby. So, from the very beginning there is an undercurrent of danger. The novel … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One Minute Book Review – The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

The Spinning Heart is set in a small town in Ireland during the immediate aftermath of the Irish economic recession. The novel comprises twenty-one chapters, each a monologue by a different character, each capable of standing alone. The first chapter centres on Bobby Mahon whose story is revealed in bits and pieces through every other … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

One Minute Book Review – Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

This is the book which, in my opinion, should have won the Man Booker Prize in 2016. The story begins in Canada in 1991 with the daughters of two musicians, Marie raised in Canada and Ai-Ming who has arrived from China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The story weaves back … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

One Minute Book Review – All That Man Is by David Szalay

Another from the Man Booker shortlist 2016. Each of the nine chapters in this book, which is essentially a collection of short stories, deals with a man at a different stage in his life. It begins with a 17 year student and ends with a 73 year old retired civil servant. The men are are … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – All That Man Is by David Szalay

One Minute Book Review – El Dorado by Dorothy Porter

This is a crime thriller told in verse by notable Australian poet Dorothy Porter (1954-2008).  El Dorado is a child killer, marking the foreheads of his victims with a gold thumbprint. The spare compelling verse, not a word out of place, follows both the professional and personal struggles of Melbourne detective Bill Buchanan and his … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – El Dorado by Dorothy Porter

One Minute Book Review – Umbrella by Will Self

I picked this book up after hearing that it dealt, in fictional form, with similar experiences to Oliver Sach's Awakenings. I put it down after a single page as I had no desire to force myself through 400 pages of unpunctuated stream of consciousness. Months later I came across the audiobook (someone else had done … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Umbrella by Will Self