The Review: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (1955)

  Title: Catch 22 Author: Joseph Heller Date Of Version Reviewed: 2004 Publisher: Vintage RRP: £8.99    ISBN: 978-0-099-47046-5 What the book is about… Set in the closing months of the Second World War in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because…

The Review: Lock 14 by Georges Simenon (1963)

Title: Lock 14 (Maigret Meets A Milord) Author: Georges Simenon Date Of Version Reviewed: 2003 Publisher: Penguin Classics  RRP: £6.99    ISBN: 9-780141-187280  What the book is about… One rainy night a canal worker stumbles across the strangled body of Mary Lampson in a stable near Lock 14. The dead woman’s husband seems unmoved by her death and is…

The Review: The Outsider by Albert Camus (1946)

Title: The Outsider (also known as The Stranger) Author: Albert Camus Date Of Version Reviewed: 2000 Publisher: Penguin Classics  RRP: £6.99 The Outsider – originally titled The Stranger – is an existentialists paradise. Hailed as one of the greatest philosophical novels of all time, one would easily dismiss this compelling novel based on its relative shortness. That isn’t…

The Review: Youth by J.M Coetzee (2002)

Title: Youth Author: J.M Coetzee Date Of Version Reviewed: 2003 Publisher: Vintage RRP: £6.99 ISBN: 0-099-43362-1 What the book is about… ‘Youth’s narrator, a student in 19950s South Africa, has long been plotting an escape from his native country. Studying mathematics, reading poetry, saving money, he tries to ensure that when he arrives in the real world…

The Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)

  Title: Things Fall Apart Author: Chinua Achebe Date Of Version Reviewed: 2001 Publisher: Penguin Classics RRP: £7.99 ISBN: 0-14-118688-7   A classic of African literature and one of the pioneering anti-colonial prose, Things Fall Apart is broken into three parts – the pre-colonial era, the invasion of the British and their Christian way of life and…

The Review: The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill (2014)

  Title: The Soul of Discretion Author: Susan Hill Date Of Version Reviewed: 2015 Publisher: Vintage RRP: £7.99 ISBN: 978-0-099-57594-8   The premise of Soul of Discretion is sound though the execution does not meet the lofty standards of previous Serrailler instalments. It is unfortunate because given the level of talent possessed by Susan Hill one would expect…

The Review: The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla (Ed, 2016)

  Title: The Good Immigrant Author: Nikesh Shukla (Editor) Date Of Version Reviewed: 2016 Publisher: Unbound RRP: £14.99 ISBN: 978-1-78352-295-8 What the book is about… Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be…

The Review: The Stand by Stephen King (1979)

Title: The Stand Author: Stephen King Date Of Version Reviewed: 2011 Publisher: Hodder RRP: £9.99 ISBN: 978-1-4447-2073-0 What the book is about… ‘First come the days of the plague. Then come the dreams. Dreams that warn of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of…

The Review: Blindness by Jose Saramago (1995)

Title: Blindness Author: Jose Saramago (translated by Giovanni Pontiero) Date Of Version Reviewed: 2004 Publisher: Vintage Classics RRP: £8.99 ISBN: 978-0-099-57358-6 What the book is about… What happens when a whole city goes blind? Not just a few people… the whole city. Maybe the whole country. Except one person remains able to see. The city turns to ruin…

The Review: Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)

  Title: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Author: Lewis Carroll Date Of Version Reviewed: 2009 Publisher: Oxford University Press RRP: £5.99 ISBN: 978-0-19-955829-2 What the book is about… Having become bored with her sister’s book, Alice chases The White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole into a bizarre world of talking cats, painting playing…

The Review: Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

  Title: Slaughterhouse 5 Author: Kurt Vonnegut Date Of Version Reviewed: 2007 Publisher: The Independant RRP: £3.49 ISBN: 977-1753-312009-17   What the book is about… Slaughterhouse 5 introduces the reader to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in a time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display…

The Review: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald (1926)

Title: The Great Gatsby Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Date Of Version Reviewed: 2013 Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics RRP: £6.99 ISBN: 978-0-141-394367 What the book is about… Day and night Jay Gatsby’s mansion on West Egg buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich –…