The Island

“The Island” by Ana María Matute (Spain) Review Once they had gotten used to the style of writing and dated language, most readers liked this coming-of-age story. They felt that the long passages and the frequent use of parenthesis as commentary demanded that they pay attention. They loved the descriptions of the people and places, and thought the imagery used was highly evocative of both … Continue reading The Island


“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko (USA) Review Although readers struggled with the non-linear narrative to begin with, they quickly got into the story and were immersed in it. They warmed to the protagonist and liked the diversity of other characters: from his family members to the medicine men; from his childhood friends to his lovers. Readers liked the writing style with its mix of prose … Continue reading Ceremony


“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary) Review Readers enjoyed this book a lot, finding it a really easy read. They thought the writing was beautiful and evocative, and liked how it flowed. They loved the descriptions of the different places: from the Hungarian castle and grounds, to the Viennese apartment and the Tropics. Readers found the General a fascinating character and liked how he slowly brings … Continue reading Embers


“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.) Review Filled with mixed emotions, readers described the book as outstanding, depressing, horrific, and surrealistic. Most got into the story quite quickly, whereas others struggled with making sense of the language or with believing in the supernatural element. When the initial hurdles had been overcome, all readers enjoyed the book immensely. They empathised with Sethe and felt her actions justified … Continue reading Beloved

Hour of the Star

“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil) Review Challenging, frustrating, meditative and surrealistic were some of the adjectives that readers used to describe this modern classic. They found it difficult to get into and agreed that it needed more than one reading. They called it a thinking book and would not recommend it for escapism. The multi-layered narration was challenging for some readers, who … Continue reading Hour of the Star

A Fine Balance

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) Synopsis Set in mid-1970s India, “A Fine Balance” tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency.’ Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. … Continue reading A Fine Balance

One Hundred Years of Solitude

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) Synopsis Equally tragic, joyful and comical, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” inhabits a strange dream-like space where very little makes real sense, but everything is mysteriously and vividly alive nonetheless. Blending fantasy and reality seamlessly, the characters struggle hopelessly against a merciless backdrop of madness, corruption and death… all measured out equally with farce and … Continue reading One Hundred Years of Solitude

I Am A Cat

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) Synopsis ‘I am a cat. As yet I have no name.’ So begins one of the most original and unforgettable works in Japanese literature. Richly allegorical and delightfully readable, “I Am A Cat” is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering kitten who spends all his time observing human nature – from the dramas of businessmen and … Continue reading I Am A Cat