Is there a book in this blog? TMO's Litblog brings you reviews, reflections and literary news

The TMO Litblog

The TMO litblog is a collection of short posts, reviews, and tweets dedicated to literary fiction and book news.

Ciaran Carson’s Shamrock Tea

Monday, December 8th, 2008

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 […]

Many Happy Returns

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

4th Estate celebrate their 25th birthday this year, and to mark it have produced a very nice film which reminds you of many of the great books they’ve published This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo. Some favourites here include Michael Chabon’s novels, Robert Fisk’s huge book on the middle east, and […]

Crapland brings to mind

Friday, December 5th, 2008

‘You couldn’t make it up’, screams the tabloid tv presenter as he recounts the surreal situation of Santa Claus and his helper elves being threatened by angry families in a run-down amusement park in the cultural wilderness of Kent. Far more entertaining, though starting from a similar run-down amusement park premise, is George Saunders brilliant […]

Yehoshua’s Woman in Jerusalem

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

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 […]

The Cellist of Sarajevo

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

The Cellist of Sarajevo is Canadian novelist Steven Galloway’s third novel, but only the first to be published in the UK & Ireland. I picked up the novel enthusiastically (it’s beautifully put together, from the elegant cover through to the paging and paper-weight) but also with the slight apprehension that always accompanies a novel that […]

Carte Blanche – Carlo Lucarelli and the Italian crime novel

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

While Carlo Lucarelli’s detective novel Carte Blanche includes plenty of standard genre devices, it’s unlikely to turn up in the excellent ‘do it yourself giallo generator‘ (via Detectives without borders). For one thing its title is too short, and doesn’t contain an animal (not that the inclusion of an animal in the title necessarily makes […]

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

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

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? […]

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

Friday, October 31st, 2008

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 […]

Roberto Saviano and the new Italian epic

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Regular readers of Three Monkeys will know that we have a soft-spot for the Italian literary collective Wu Ming, the people behind novels like Q and 54 (which is very much on our ‘to-review’ list). Wu Ming I (there are five of them) has just published a thoughtful piece where he attempts to define what […]

Writers and the Credit Crunch – Margaret Atwood and Tim Parks

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

I very rarely have the cause or inclination to browse to the Financial Times, but was glad to have done so today. The immediate reasoning was to check for news on the troubled bank of which I am, unfortunately, an account holder. No particular joy there, but instead I stumbled upon an extract from Margaret […]

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