A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

 A Tale For The Time Being is a playful novel, which sometimes seems about to crumble into its own cleverness and fade away to become part of the universe with a quiet ‘pfipp’. That it manages to stay intact is largely due to the varied subject matter, which takes in kamikaze pilots, quantum physics, the 9/11 attacks, school bullies, Buddhism, feline care,…

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

…’Foggier yet, and colder’… The novella that pretty much invented Christmas as we know is, as John Mortimer once wrote, ‘a text of nineteenth century humanism’. There’s not a great deal of God or Jesus in it. ‘For Dickens Christmas didn’t mean the birth of a Son to redeem the sins of the world; it…

A Dead Man In Deptford by Anthony Burgess

Oh, what a title. A Dead Man In Deptford is Anthony Burgess’ brilliant imagining of the relatively short life of Elizabethan playwright Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe (or Merlin, or Marley – at the time, surnames were a little more fluid than today). A colourful figure (Rupert Everett was quite a nice choice to play him in his striking cameo…

The Devil Doctor by Sax Rohmer

Oh, lordy. Dr. Fu-Manchu is at it again. The Yellow Peril is back in The Devil Doctor, two years after being apparently burned to death in a cottage in suburban south London. Of course he’s back, he’s fireproof. Only the tanned, gritty Nayland Smith and his sidekick Dr. Petrie can stop him. Fu-Manchu is an…