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Showing posts from January, 2017

A sensational start to the year

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I started 2017 with a proper brick of a book: Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries. It's huge - a whole 832 pages - but it's no slog to get through, full of intrigue, unique characters, and vivid description. I like it muchly.

To be fair, it's very much my type of book. Victorian sensation fiction would probably be my Mastermind topic, as I read it for pleasure and completed a Master's thesis on one of the dominant authors in the genre, Wilkie Collins. Catton's book references Collins' work in many ways, mimicking the prose style and twisting plot, but is fresh enough to avoid feeling like a direct rip-off. If anything, it's even more convoluted than the works it's inspired by, using the narratives of multiple people to tell the story of missing gold, murder and thwarted ambition.

There's no way to describe the plot briefly. Suffice it to say, when Walter Moody blunders into a private conference on his first day in New Zealand, he could never imagine t…

Aaaand it's 2017!

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Thank fudge for that, right?

I had an interesting reading year in 2016 - there were some great arbitrary reads and I caught up with some of the major literary fiction of the past couple of years - but most of the rest of it was rubbish. 

Though I can't control much around me, I can control my reading (well, now that I've scrapped my arbitrary reading challenge, that is) and my TBR pile for the next few weeks looks like this:


Starting from the bottom, I've got The Luminaries and The Narrow Road to the Deep North - both Man Booker Prize winners, both supposed to be fab. I'm about 100 pages into The Luminaries and I'm hooked already. It's a beast of a book but harks back to Victorian sensation fiction, which is both my passion and my academic specialism, so length isn't an issue. With my arbitrary reading challenge, I missed some of the big releases of 2015 and 2016 so I'm hoping to catch back up this year.
My top film of 2016 was The Girl With All The Gifts, …