Archive - August 2017

5 Recommended Novellas
10 Ridiculous Religious Books
8 Macabre Books
7 Books for 7 Moods

5 Recommended Novellas

In recent years I have read numerous novellas. This week’s post is dedicated to 5 of the more memorable ones. Click on the links to read my reviews.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1958)

Truman Capote’s masterful ability to develop character is on full display in this compelling and at times humorous tale about an independent young society figure with a past shrouded in secrecy.

My Review: Holly Golighty is a young woman living in 1940s New York. The story follows Holly’s ambiguous relationship with a nameless narrator, whom we are told almost nothing...(more)


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1962)

Whilst the morose subject matter (Gulags) will not appeal to everyone, this reader, an avid Solzhenitsyn fan, is of the opinion that One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the best books ever written.

My Review: Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is a former POW serving a 10 year term in a Gulag on the Kazakh steppe for being a spy. He is innocent. The book chronicles a single day of his existence…(more)


The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth (1939)

This compact and compassionate novella has an alcoholic tramp protagonist. Its author, Joseph Roth, succumbed to a premature alcohol related death shortly after finishing this allegorical tale.

My Review:  The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a short novella written by the iconic Austrian-Jewish author and journalist Joseph Roth. Set in Paris between the wars the story is…(more)


Queer by William S. Burroughs (1985)

Autobiographical in nature, the book is an account of Burroughs’s life in Mexico, during a troubled time in his life. The author adeptly portrays a deep sense of longing and loss. 

My Review: Queer is an unreciprocated love story, in which the protagonist craves love and attention from a young American by the name of Eugene Allerton. Set in the American ex-pat…(more)


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)

Heart of Darkness is a disturbing, multi-layered story about what can occur when man exists outside of civilisation’s constraints. Readers are challenged to question the existence of being.

My Review: A steamship sailing up a river through the jungles of The Congo, in search of Mr Kurtz, a mysterious ivory trader, who has reportedly turned native…(more)


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10 Ridiculous Religious Books

This week sees the fourth and final instalment in my religious books series. Here are 10 religious-themed books. I have added pithy/fictitious comments below each.


Experiencing Bible Science

‘Bible Science’ — That’s an oxymoron.


Scruples How to Avoid Them

Extreme supplication from the looks of things.


Saving Marriage by Applying Biblical Wisdom

That clenched fist is ominous.


The Christian Life is Exciting

The front cover fails to give that impression.


Can I Be a Christian Without Being Weird?

Yes, it is just about possible. But not if you are a Jehovah’s Witness.


Are Your Children Playing With Lucifer’s Testicles?

This is presumably a satire. I base this on its Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours (if Jesus wants it to).


If The Devil Made You Do It You Blew It

What if the Devil didn’t make you do it, and you did it of your own volition?


Why Confess Your Sins To A Priest

Why indeed?


Precious Princess Bible

Brimming with illustrations and captions, this pink abomination informs every little girl that she is ‘God’s precious princess’.


The Monsters Are Coming…

And the winner of worst front cover in the religious genre is…


8 Macabre Books

This week’s post is dedicated to 8 macabre books. I have added pithy comments/fictitious commentary below each.


Peculiar Children

Yes, that child is levitating.


Still Life: Adventures In Taxidermy

If you are seeking a ‘fascinating romp through the world of stuffed animals’ then look no further.


They Thirst

What a terrifying creature!



This book is best tackled on an empty stomach.


Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

I wonder what Jane Austen would make of this.


Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

Intriguing: I am adding this to my reading list.


Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy



Do-It-Yourself Coffins

Yet another DIY coffin title! Erotica better watch out, there’s a new genre in town.



I am the author of 3 novels. My next, Sepultura, is due for release in January 2018. It is the sequel to the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.

A Black Comedy of True Distinction

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council… 

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7 Books for 7 Moods

This week sees the fifth instalment in my series of posts devoted to books for different moods. Here are more 7 books for 7 moods/states of mind. Click on the links to read my reviews.


In the mood for a Transgressive classic? (Perhaps you have seen the film but not read the book)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange is a ground-breaking and controversial work set in a dystopian near future. It leaves many questions to ponder concerning behaviourism, free will and the purpose of punishment. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Interesting


Are you in the mood for something psychological, but don’t have much time. If so you might like:

Chess by Stefan Zweig

Chess offers the prospect of salvation, but also the threat of dissolution in this short psychological novella, which explores the delicate divide that separates genius from obsession and madness. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Mildly intriguing


Tired of the joys of summer? Then how about:

Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Whilst the drab setting, morose subject matter, distressing scenes, and length (nearly 600 pages) will not appeal to everyone, this reader was captivated by the book’s diverse characters and poignant prose. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Superb characterisation


Feel like reading an iconic humour book?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner is less concerned with plot than focusing on absurd situations, designed to elicit a humorous response. The book boasts an obnoxious protagonist called Ignatius. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Overrated


If you are in the mood for something dark and poignant then I would recommend:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl is a novella about a destitute Mexican pearl diver who finds a very valuable pearl. It is a parable about the darker side of human nature that illustrates how riches can be illusory. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Good


If you are in the mood for a post-apocalyptic classic then look no further:

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach is a cautionary and timeless post-apocalyptic novel whose central theme is an exploration of how people confront imminent death. This reader was impressed by the author’s adept characterisation. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Memorable & Melancholic.


If you are in the mood for some contemporary non-Fiction then this might appeal:

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Composed of short, engaging chapters, Dreamland is a meticulously researched, multi-faceted work about addiction, entrepreneurship and the perils posed by unrestrained corporate greed. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Compelling


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