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  • Some W.G. Sebald books

    by Ray

    Vertigo (1990)
    This is a literary essay on memory and the tricks it plays on us by a modern master of evocative, erudite, clear-sighted prose. Sebald takes us in the superb opening chapter with Stendahl through the Alps during Napoleon’s Italian campaign to meditate on the contrast between (...)

  • Some P.G. Wodehouse Books

    by Ray

    Very Good, Jeeves!
    Although I have always been a P.G. Wodehouse fan (how can one possibly not be?), I have tended to avoid the Jeeves books on the (foolishly mistaken) grounds that they would be too predictable, preferring the almost-always-wildly-funny collections of stories about Archie (...)

  • Pepe Carvalho: a Spanish Hercule Poirot

    by Ray

    The Quintet of Buenos Aires by Manuel Vasquez Montalban is a big, rather verbose, but all in all quite captivating plunge into the darker side of life in contemporary Argentina as we follow the investigations of an odd-ball but very distinctive detective from Barcelona named Pepe Carvalho, who (...)

  • "The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus", edited by Brian Aldiss

    by Ray

    This is a really outstanding collection of science-fiction stories from the late forties and fifties, the golden age of sci-fi in my humble and no doubt biased opinion, that being the period when I first discovered the genre, which was all the rage then, in my youthful days. But it was (...)

  • The Irish Civil War

    by Ray

    Like I think many other people I have always had a very confused understanding of the events that led to the establishment of an independant Ireland after the First World War: I knew that there had been an uprising in Dublin in Easter 1916 and that there had been fighting as well as internecine (...)