Looking through Bloomsbury’s Spring catalogue a month or so ago, l found myself reflecting, in more than usually despondent terms, on the way in which fiction gets reviewed in this country. Seen en masse, books are rather sickly things – especially the sort singled magazine books pages, if not one by David Park or Christopher Kenworthy? Broadly speaking, novels by people one has heard of. Let Joanna Trollope, say, produce a further addition to her teeming œuvre, let Margaret Drabble out for special promotion in publishers’ catalogues; but as hotly canvassed item gave way to hotly canvassed item (Sadie Blackeyes’ chick-lit debut Bitchpack Confidential, Life Under New Labour, The Kidz Guide to Drugz – I am making this up, but the genres will be familiar to you), I came upon something I very much wanted to read: a novel called The Big Snow by the Irish writer David Park.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Amis clearly belongs to the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do school of pedagogy. More or less everything he says is demonstrably contradicted by elements of his own work, be they here or elsewhere.'
'The bar is set high at the outset, and readers are primed to wonder if Mikhail can make his case.'
Does Alan Mikhail's new life of the Sultan Selim I really overturn 'shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium'? Caroline Finkel investigates.
'Shopkeepers even cut out their names from shop paper bags and pasted them onto their books’ endpapers to feign wealth and gain cultural capital, as seen in a book owned by William Straw, a grocer.'
@laurenohagan91 on the Edwardian bookplate fashion.