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 […]

Jim Crace retiring – The Guardian catches up

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Over at the Guardian book blog there’s a debate blowing after a post  dealing with Jim Crace’s plans to retire. The post has provoked all sorts of reactions regarding the merits of a writer’s age/youth, many largely missing the point made by Crace. Perhaps the most worrying thing, though, regarding the post is the implication […]

Setting free the books

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Some posts ago we took up the ‘who’ll be literature’s radiohead’ argument up, suggesting that there are already a number of established authors who have been giving away their work a la In Rainbows – for example the Wu Ming foundation or Mega-bestseller Neil Gaiman. Word comes through (via Lizzy’s Literary Life) of a new […]

Paint it Red

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

“‘Modern art is actually a means of espionage. … If you know how to read them, modern paintings will disclose the weak spots in US fortifications, and such crucial constructions as Boulder Dam.’” This is not the paranoid ravings of some modern-day war on terror nut. It is quoted in Who Paid the Piper? The […]

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