Author: Laura

Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

‘’Get the mayor,’ Holston said. He let out a sigh, that heavy breath he’d been holding for three years. ‘Tell her I want to go outside.’ Warning: Minor Spoilers. Given my penchant for dystopian fiction, I had high hopes for this book, especially as the concept seemed pretty promising. It veered away from The Hunger Games/Divergent set up of a future humanity split into sections, and instead had them cooped up in a silo with a deadly wasteland of a world left outside, visible only from a window, and forbidden to speak of. Those who express an interest in the… Read more »

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What I’ve Learnt In Two Months of Blogging

What I’ve Learnt In Two Months of Blogging

The other day I realised that I have been blogging for two months! Whilst this is hardly a long time, it’s already starting to feel like I have always been dreaming up fresh blog posts and obsessively checking my blog comments and Twitter feed in my lunch break. It’s certainly been a learning curve, going from a person who is generally fairly inept with computers (I usually just shout my tech-savvy sister to help!) to someone who has successfully set up a blog, and whilst my design is pretty minimalist, it still seems like an achievement! So I decided to… Read more »

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My Top 5 Contemporary Short Stories

My Top 5 Contemporary Short Stories

Last week I shared my Top 5 Classic Short Stories, so here are my top 5 contemporary stories (and by contemporary, I’m talking later than the 70s!): Tandolfo the Great by Richard Bausch Although nothing too tragic happens in Tandolfo the Great, there is something very sad and poignant about it, which considering its exuberant title and the fact its protagonist is a clown, comes as a surprise. It tells the story of child’s entertainer Rodney, aka Tandolfo, who planned to propose to the love of his life using a huge, multi-tiered wedding cake which he has in the back of his car…. Read more »

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Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

‘The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don’t know where I am, how I came to be here. I don’t know how I’m going to get home.’ Before I Go To Sleep is yet another of those books that has been on my to-read list since what feels like forever. The promise of the upcoming film (which I believe is now out?) finally spurred me to read it, and once again I find myself regretting not having got round to it earlier! The novel tells the story from the perspective of Christine, a woman who wakes up every morning thinking she… Read more »

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My Top 5 Classic Short Stories

My Top 5 Classic Short Stories

The short story is a form that has had its ups and downs. Whilst immensely popular during the early twentieth century – the likes of Joyce and Hemingway penning their masterpieces – it could be seen to have fallen out of fashion in later years. However, 2013 saw Alice Munro win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first short story writer to do so. Perhaps because of this, there seems to be a renewed interest in shorter fiction, and I have seen more short story collections than ever before gracing the shelves of bookshops. So, in honour of the short… Read more »

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Review: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

‘The original source of the Skill will probably remain forever shrouded in mystery. Certainly a penchant for it runs remarkably strong within the royal family, and yet it is not solely confined to the King’s household.’ Warning: Minor spoilers. Seen as I’m currently having a major fantasy-reading phase, I decided it was about time I checked out another big name in the genre: Robin Hobb. Assassin’s Apprentice is the first in her much-lauded Farseer Trilogy, and I have to say, for me, it largely lived up to the hype. The novel tells the story of Fitz, the bastard son of… Read more »

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Review: Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis

Review: Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis

‘I had thought of making a sentimental journey to Auschwitz. The place of power on the confluence of the rivers: the place where the numbered Jews, and all the others, who had no number, came down from the heavens; the place where, for a time, there was no why.’ I had heard a lot about Martin Amis’ novel Time’s Arrow before I read it, and was pretty intrigued by the concept. Now having read it, I found it to be…rather bizarre. The novel tells the story of a Nazi war criminal named Odilo Unverdorben backwards. Yes, you read that right…. Read more »

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Review: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Review: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

“When the cardinal came to a closed door he would flatter it – oh beautiful yielding door! Then he would try tricking it open. And you are just the same, just the same…but in the last resort, you just kick it in.” A few weeks ago I did a post called ‘3 Books I Should Have Read But Haven’t’, and number two on the list was Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, which had been sitting on my shelf for months. Having now read it, I really wish I’d got round to it sooner! The novel follows the fate of… Read more »

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Review: The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

Review: The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

‘All eyes turned to see Kuglan the magician step forward. ‘I have need of an apprentice and would call Pug, orphan of the keep, to service.’’ Last summer I read the entirety of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, devouring book after book in quick succession. I wanted to watch Game of Thrones, as I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, and I hate watching things before I’ve read the book. As a result I ended up on a bit of a fantasy kick, and so while waiting for the long-time-coming Winds of… Read more »

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Literary Archetypes: The Dark Lord

In the ‘Literary Archetypes’ series I’ll be looking at various examples of classic character types within fiction. And my first victim is…the fantasy Dark Lord! ‘The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power, the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…’ From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K…. Read more »

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