End of the year review 2021

A second covid year, and undoubtedly not the last has meant, for me, much less travel and none abroad and much less going out – I cannot remember the last time I went to the cinema, theatre or a pub and while I can remember the last time I went to a football match, it … Read more

Michel Houellebecq: Anéantir [Annihilate]

The latest addition to my website is Michel Houellebecq‘s Anéantir [Annihilate]. This is a fairly typical Houellebecq novel. It opens in late 2026. There are three main plot lines: a group of terrorists initially sends out some highly sophisticated CGI videos, using a technology not thought possible, and which appear initially on French government sites … Read more

Ghazi Algosaibi: شقة الحرية (An Apartment Called Freedom)

\ The latest addition to my website is Ghazi Algosaibi‘s شقة الحرية (An Apartment Called Freedom). This novel takes place between 1956 and 1961, primarily in Cairo and follows a group of young men, primarily Bahraini, who have gone to Cairo to study. As well as their studies, they pursue other activities. Girls are their … Read more

Muhsin al-Ramli: حدائق الرئيةة (The President’s Gardens)

The latest addition to my website is Muhsin al-Ramli‘s حدائق الرئيةة (The President’s Gardens). The novel tells the stories of three close Iraqi male friends. At the beginning of the novel, in the village where htey live, nine crates are found, containing the severed heads of various villagers, including one of the three friends, Ibrahim. … Read more

Almudena Grandes: El corazón helado (The Frozen Heart)

The latest addition to my website is Almudena Grandes‘ El corazón helado (The Frozen Heart). This is a long and complicated novel set mainly in the present but very much looking back to the Spanish Civil War. We follow the stories of two related families, one primarily Francoist and one primarily Republican, and their respective … Read more

Ramiro Sanchiz: Trashpunk

The latest addition to my website is Ramiro Sanchiz‘s Trashpunk. Trashpunk, a term coined by Sanchiz, is the developing country version of cyberpunk. This book consists of several stories but the main one concerns a writer called Federico Stahl (Sanchiz’s usual alter ego) who, through his friend Rex, a serious drug user, meets Enrique Wollfig, … Read more

Jana Bodnárová: Náhrdelník/Obojok (Necklace/Choker)

The latest addition to my website is Jana Bodnárová‘s Náhrdelník/Obojok (Necklace/Choker). This novel tells the stories of two Slovak women – Sara and Iboja – who meet in their hometown after Slovak independence in the late twentieth century. Their stories and the stories of their families are the stories of Slovakia as we follow them … Read more