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

Too Loud a Solitude

“Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal (Czech Republic) One of Nicola’s 100 best books for inspiration in the 21st century! Extract and Comment … I pick up a book, and my eyes open panic-stricken on a world other than my own, because when I start reading I’m somewhere completely different, I’m in the text, it’s amazing, I have to admit I’ve been dreaming, dreaming … Continue reading Too Loud a Solitude

The Siege of Krishnapur

“The Siege of Krishnapur” by J.G. Farrell (U.K.) Review Although it took some readers a little while to get into the story as they felt it necessary to adapt to a literary style that required their full attention, overall everyone loved the book. They loved the detailed descriptions of various scenes, such as the social gatherings, the philosophical/religious discussions and the battles, though some readers … Continue reading The Siege of Krishnapur

Ali and Nino

“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said (Azerbaijan) Review Readers enjoyed the book immensely. They liked the historical, political and cultural context of the story and the different perspectives of East and West, Muslim and Christian. One reader particularly felt how the protagonists were trapped by these contexts. They found the descriptions of the places colourful and vivid, bringing the different scenes very much alive for … Continue reading Ali and Nino

How Many Miles To Babylon?

“How Many Miles To Babylon?” by Jennifer Johnston (Ireland) Review Readers described “How Many Miles To Babylon?” as a beautiful book and most of them were moved by the friendship between Alec and Jerry. Through the author’s rich use of dialogue, they were able to visualise the different characters and the sceneries with ease. They found both the descriptions of the Irish countryside and the … Continue reading How Many Miles To Babylon?

The Master and Margarita

“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia) One of Nicola’s 100 best books for inspiration in the 21st century! Review Members of the Book Club were unanimous in their appreciation of this novel. They found it funny and philosophical. They loved the descriptions of the many incidents that happen and they liked the different characters, though most found confusing the way the author changes … Continue reading The Master and Margarita

The Dream Life of Sukhanov

“The Dream Life of Sukhanov” by Olga Grushin (Russia) Review This book was one of the four selected titles for our Summer Reading Group 2007 A first novel by a young Russian author, it was shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers in 2006. Readers found heart-breaking this complex story of Anatoly Pavlovich Sukhanov whose life slowly breaks down as he questions the choices … Continue reading The Dream Life of Sukhanov

The Successor

“The Successor” by Ismail Kadare (Albania) Synopsis and Review “The Successor”: any resemblance between the characters and circumstances of this tale and real people and events is inevitable The Designated Successor was found dead in his bedroom at dawn on December 14. Was it suicide or was he murdered? This question sneaks through Ismail Kadare’s masterful psychological novel. As the state insists that the future … Continue reading The Successor