Category Archives: Books

The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

All I “know” about the life of late imperial/early republican Austria comes from reading Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth. This novel is set in 1926, but Zweig didn’t finish it before his suicide in 1942 and it was published posthumously. … Continue reading

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London belongs to me by Norman Collins (1945)

The problem with a Kindle is that all books appear wafer-thin. (I miss the physical aspect of real books: their weight, the way you can fan through paperbacks, make later-incomprehensible notes in the margins, remember which bookshop you bought it … Continue reading

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The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (1913)

I picked up this book again after watching Darling to look for parallels between Diana and Undine Spragg – Undine who starts in Apex City and intends to go higher. It is a fascinating book, particularly given that Undine is an … Continue reading

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The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton (1947)

I really am going in for black and white England at present. This novel is set in 1943 in a Thameside town where Miss Roach, bombed out of London, now lives in a dreary boarding-house. It’s a dreadfully circumscribed existence: … Continue reading

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London

After a weekend spent in the fascinating hellhole between Euston, King’s Cross and Oxford Street, I am now heading home, expecting to arrive 5 hours late because of damaged overhead wires at Watford. I am not complaining: I’ve had an … Continue reading

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A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark (1988)

The novel is set in war-damaged London in 1954, narrated in retrospect by a fat young war widow, Mrs Hawkins. Over the course of the novel she ceases to be a widow or fat, but her strong moral sense remains … Continue reading

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The Brimstone Wedding by Barbara Vine (1995)

Ruth Rendell by another name. It was OK – it kept me turning the pages, and the quasi-parallel lives of two women in dull marriages and their lovers was cleverly done. A good sense of place: Norfolk/Suffolk borders this time. … Continue reading

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