Novels: You are currently browsing the category/tag Novels. These are a collection of articles in TMO that have been collected together under the term Novels, for your convenience.


They Kill Us for Sport – Lear, Happy Endings, and Niccolò Ammaniti’s The Crossroads

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Daisy Godwin’s lament about the lack of redmption in so many of today’s novels – made whilst chairing the Orange Prize judging panel – put her in good company. Samuel Johnson famously endorsed  Nahum Tate‘s sugar coated revision of Shakespeare’s King Lear. The play had been too bleak, by far, for a Restoration audience, prompting Tate […]

5 Great Books to get you through the World Cup

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Most of the drama of this year’s World Cup in South Africa seems to be taking place off the pitch (thanks to the likes of John Terry, Raymond Domenech, and Nicolas Anelka), but that just serves to point out what Catalan  novelist Manuel Vazquez Montalban (creator of the excellent Pepe Carvallho detective novels) put his finger […]

The Country Girls – by Edna O’Brien

Monday, May 10th, 2010

I discovered Samuel Beckett’s Murphy after a Friday-night friend boozily extolled its dark and comic virtues (‘he wants his ashes to be flushed down the jacks of the Abbey theatre, but instead they get spilled in a barfight!’).  In similar circumstances I’ve had the good luck to stumble upon great books by writers as varied […]

Naming the Bones – Louise Welsh

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The more I think back on Louise Welsh’s latest novel, Naming the Bones, which I finished just over two weeks ago, the more quietly impressed I am by it.  And if that seems like damning with faint praise, nothing could be further from the truth.  While the novel has a narrative arc that brings its […]

Doubt in the Novel – Brian Moore’s Cold Heaven

Monday, March 29th, 2010

In a TMO interview with Australian novelist Tim Winton, the question of faith and doubt came up, and more specifically the suitability of different literary formats to deal with them. “TMO:How much room  in a novel is there for the unexplained, and the unexplainable? Tim Winton: I think there’s plenty of room. For hinting at […]

Harry Revised – by Mark Sarvas

Monday, March 15th, 2010

It is a typical Harry Rent moment. The protagonist of Mark Sarvas‘s well crafted novel Harry Revised is trapped – almost Bloom like – by indecision, in a bookshop where his task seems relatively simple: to buy the novel that will be his reference book for a much needed re-birth, Dumas’ The Count of Monte […]

The Selected Works of T.S.Spivet: A Novel/ Reif Larsen

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Imagine a 12 year old genius living on a ranch in Montana. He is a scientist and makes maps of everything from entymology to how to shake hands with God. As you might expect, he is, therefore, predictably weird and socially dysfunctional. Keeping his maps in rigorously colour-coded notebooks, Tecumseh Sparrow (yes this kid is […]


The Wig My Father Wore – by Anne Enright

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Coming off the back of reading more than my fair share of European crime-fiction (culminating with Stieg Larsson’s posthumuous sales-phenomenon The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) – a genre where plot, reasonably enough, is tight and pragmatic, where the reader must above all else understand what’s happening – it was a palate-cleansing delight to dive […]

The Death of Bunny Munroe – Nick Cave

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

When I first saw the candy crusted bunny leering at me from a shelf in a bookshop, I thought ‘ah…another post- modern whatever self-absorbed ramble from a worthy author’s jadedness’. I have a particular weakness for being both attracted to and repelled by such narcissism which is why my eye wandered up to ‘The Death […]

Should the laws of physics apply? Helen Oyeyemi’s White is for Witching

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Should the laws of physics apply to a novel? There are readers who,  not without reason, demand that yes, the laws of gravity, and thermodynamics must apply at all times if the work is to be taken seriously. For example, if a character is to cross a room, they should do so – with or […]

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