“Pure” by Andrew Miller (U.K.) Review Although they thought the historical setting of pre-French revolution was bleak and desolate, readers found this book highly enjoyable and looked forward to delving into it. They liked the language and style, finding it well written with interesting characters, evocative descriptions and a good plot. They quickly warmed to the protagonist and found the interplay between him and the other characters captivating. … Continue reading Pure

The Metamorphosis

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka (Czech Republic) Review Readers really enjoyed both the story, which they felt had been honed and polished, and the style of writing, which they described as clear and precise despite some formal language used at times. They all found Gregor Samsa a highly likeable character and felt compassion for his plight. Everyone agreed that the characters’ emotions were powerfully described, … Continue reading The Metamorphosis

The Brothers’ Lot

“The Brothers’ Lot” by Kevin Holohan (Ireland) Review Readers’ enjoyment of this story was strongly influenced by how close they felt to the subject matter. Some found it a difficult book to read, especially since many of the abuses within church-run institutions in Ireland are still coming to light today. Readers who had the benefit of distance from the subject matter enjoyed the book immensely, … Continue reading The Brothers’ Lot


“Seeing” by José Saramago (Portugal) Review Readers really enjoyed this book once they got used to Saramago’s characteristic writing style of long, rambling sentences strewn with commas and little paragraphing. They liked the political theme of a democracy veering towards a totalitarian state and they thought the author had captured the characteristics of the various ministers all too well. They loved the dark humour and … Continue reading Seeing

Brick Lane

“Brick Lane” by Monica Ali (U.K.) Review Readers enjoyed this multi-layered book a lot finding that it brought the immigrant experience deftly to life. They liked the parallel stories of the two sisters, Nazneen who went abroad and Hasina who remained behind, and the insights into their different personalities. They warmed immediately to the protagonist, who they described as most personable. Her inner growth from … Continue reading Brick Lane

Death and the Penguin

“Death and the Penguin” by Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine) Favourite Quote He had, it seemed, divined the secret of longevity. Longevity depended on peace. Peace was the source of self-assurance, and self-assurance allowed one to cleanse one’s life of needless upsets, twists and turns. Self-assurance allowed one to take decisions for the prolonging of one’s life. Self-assurance led to the future. Synopsis Viktor is an aspiring … Continue reading Death and the Penguin