Book Review: Childhood by Gerard Reve

Following Pushkin Press’s 2016 release of The Evenings, Dutch writer Gerard Reve returns in English with Childhood, which includes two of his early novellas, Werther Nieland and The Fall of the Boslowits Family. Both embody the best of Reve’s writing: dark wit, strange characters, and brilliant style that make this book a delightful and mesmerising read.

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Alice Piotrowska
Book Review: Soul of the Border by Matteo Righetto

Matteo Righetto’s Soul of the Border is an fascinating mix of adventure and historical fiction that focuses on the life of a tobacco-growing family during the late 19th century in the Veneto region of Italy. The hard farming life of the de Boer family reflects the wider trials which the working class of the region faced in order to survive during that period.

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Platon Poulas
Book Review: Limbo by Dan Fox

Dan Fox’s new book came as a result of writer’s block, a period marked by failed attempts to write a collection of travel essays. Instead, he focused on this phenomenon of creative stagnancy and wrote about his introspective analysis. The result is Limbo, a long essay that considers a multitude of domains, physical and metaphysical, in which agency is removed and time takes on unfathomable qualities.

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Book Review: Drive Your Plow by Olga Tokarczuk

After the success of Man Booker International Prize Winner Flights, Fitzcarraldo Editions return with a new Olga Tokarczuk novel. Originally published in Poland in 2009, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead was translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Far from the “constellation-novel” form of Flights that Tokarczuk opts for in many of her later works, it presents itself as a reinvention of the gothic noir and crime novel.

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Book Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

After having graduated in art history from Columbia and quitting her job at a pretentious art gallery, the unnamed narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation retires in her Upper East Side apartment and resolves to sleep for the coming year, at the end of which she expects to emerge a different person.

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Book Review: Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

Only Killers and Thieves is beautifully crafted as a very personal story, with brothers Tommy and Billy at the centre of it, while around them we witness the perishing of their family, the real authorities acting above everything, and the story of a country whose history was built on violence and pain.

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Platon Poulas
Book Review: Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Beneath the lush surface, the residents of Swan Song hardly leave any of the seven deadly sins unexplored thoroughly. It’s a novel that is as interested in the literary value of Truman Capote’s approach to writing and his life as it is in the moral decay of the most privileged. It’s this decade’s The Secret History.

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Book Review: Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro

Saying that Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon is a love story, or the story of an affair would be like saying that Moby Dick is about fishing. Yes, there is an affair at the centre of it, and there is talk about love, but this novel is made of so many layers that it requires multiple readings to unfold them all.

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Platon Poulas
Book Review: Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Spring reads more like part of the My Struggle series; with the actual events happening over a brief period of time, Knausgaard weaves in memories, thoughts, and observations to create a complex narrative. This time, however, the story is more personal and emotionally nuanced, and one that his daughter will be unable to understand until many years later.

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Alice Piotrowska