Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

TMO: Andrew Lawless

Andrew Lawless is the founding editor of Three Monkeys Online. Originally from Dublin, but now based in Bologna, Italy, Andrew is a regular contributor to the magazine with a particular interest in literature, politics and music. He also runs Bodu Web Design, a web development company.


TMO Articles by Andrew Lawless


  • Paolo Giordano, Italian novelist, talks to tmo

    Paolo Giordano – Bridging the ‘two cultures’

    TMO interview with Premio Strega winning Italian novelist Paolo Giordano “A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked […]

  • The Lazarus Project – Aleksandar Hemon

    Novelist and  short-story writer Michel Faber, in his three monkeys interview, commented “I think it’s juvenile and arrogant when literary writers compulsively remind their readers that the characters aren’t real. People know that already. The challenge is to make an intelligent reader suspend disbelief, to seduce them into the reality of a narrative.” This is […]

  • Domenico Starnone’s First Execution

    It seems like a good year and a half since I’ve read a novel that didn’t involve a writer writing a novel, so I started Domenico Starnone’s First Execution wearily, almost out of duty – despite the fact that the original Italian version of the book comes highly recommended. It has though, thus far (I’m […]

  • John Wray, author of Lowboy, in interview

    For many readers, particularly outside the United States, John Wray’s name will be a new one, despite the fact that this 37 year old Brooklyn-based writer has already published two critically acclaimed novels, The Right Hand of Sleep, and Canaan’s Tongue, has won a Whiting Writers’ Award, and in 2007 was chosen by Granta for […]

  • cellist-sarajevo

    The Larger Conversation – Steven Galloway talks about The Cellist of Sarajevo

    A good starting place to talk about Steven Galloway’s novel, The Cellist of Sarajevo, is a 1976 interview with American author John Cheever. Cheever, asked by the Paris Review’s Annette Grant about the trend for novelists to write journalism, responded angrily “I don’t like your question. Fiction must compete with first-rate reporting. If you cannot […]

  • houllebecq-platform

    Michel Houellebecq’s Platform

    “If the general climate is bad, all will be affected by it. Men and women of letters are not expected to do more than they can, as they express this bad situation in their literary production. With respect to the question of the appeal of a particular work, the whole thing depends on whether the […]

  • Nadine Gordimer’s turn of phrase

    One of the ideas behind setting up ‘Is there a book in this blog?’ was to create a space where contributors could jump right in and make off-the-cuff observations about books/writers without the need to build up a structured review piece (there are plenty of those elsewhere in Three Monkeys Online). With that spirit in […]

  • A spot of bother – Mark Haddon

    Though suffering a major nervous breakdown, Mark Haddon’s 57 year old protagonist George, in the novel A spot of bother has plenty of pragmatic insights. For example, casually while trying to fight off panic he finishes reading a novel (Sharpe’s Enemy by Bernard Cornwell), but chooses to turn on the t.v rather than start a […]

  • Martin Amis and Experience

    A number of things have, until now, put me off reading the novels of Martin Amis. There was the infamous and justified criticism that his father Kingsley voiced, declaring that his novels had “that constant demonstrating of his command of English”. There was that poor introduction to his work that was Time’s Arrow – perhaps […]

  • Here is where we meet – Berger, Galloway, Englander and Chabon

    The first story in John Berger’s  Here is Where We Meet,  is set in Lisbon. The narrator, John, by chance meets his mother while walking the streets of the city. There are two peculiar things about this meeting – the first is that his mother has been dead for fifteen years, and the second is that […]

  • Ciaran Carson Shamrock tea

    Ciaran Carson’s Shamrock Tea

    You probably wouldn’t pick one of Northern Ireland’s best known poets, academic – and traditional music enthusiast to boot – to be the novelist to have translated the spirit of the internet into book form. In Shamrock Tea  (2001) though Ciaran Carson has, in my humble view, done exactly that – and there’s not a hint […]

  • Yehoshua’s Woman in Jerusalem

    My new year’s resolution for 2009 is to not recommend any book until I’ve finished it. That gives me a couple of weeks to indulge my particular blogging vice, and there’s no better place to start than Abraham B. Yehoshua’s wonderful A Woman in Jerusalem, which I can’t recommend highly enough even though I’m only […]

  • A couple of minutes with Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    At the start of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, the narrator is rung-up by a mysterious female voice who demands, like a survey-taker, ten minutes of his time: “Ten minutes, please,” said a woman on the other end. I’m good at recognizing people’s voices, but this was not one I knew. “Excuse me? […]

  • History Matters

    Two days before the invasion of Iraq, when Tony Blair addressed the house of commons defending his motion to authorise the war, history was very much on his mind. He repeated the word five times throughout his speech, although his chief concern seemed to be the making of history rather than any serious study of […]

  • Self Censorship: The Jewel of Medina and The Portage of A.H to San Cristobal

    I have no idea whether Sherry Jone’s novel The Jewel of Medina originally deserved to be published, and I’m not quick off the bat to scold Random House, the publisher which decided at the last minute to not publish the novel after they were warned that it may cause offence to Muslims. Publishing is a subjective […]