At the end of September, David Runciman interviewed Ian McEwan on Talking Politics. Their conversation about McEwan's two most recent books was so interesting that I went and bought both almost as soon as I got back home from my walk. I wasn’t disappointed.
Classic Wodehouse, full of period dialogue, impossible plot contrivances, two-dimensional characters and everything else one might love about old Plum, if one loves old Plum at all. Infectious, too. But here's the thing: all the while I was reading it, I couldn't shake one thought from my mind.
Stanley Featherstonehough Ukridge is without a doubt the original on which Boris Johnson modelled himself.
No sooner had I finished The Circle and raved about it to a friend who is a voracious reader and whose opinion I trust than she had me reading Super Sad True Love Story. There are similarities, which is why I am reviewing them together. Both are set a few minutes into the future and both of them are thoroughly dystopian. Both of them also accelerate inexorably and intensify to something of a climax. Both are equally scary, although paradoxically SSTLS, which on the surface is much more violent and unfathomable, is much harder to take seriously.
In the process of bringing over old posts from previous sites, I've come across old reviews. They’re not the same as the more recent ones, but I want to preserve them nevertheless. This was originally published on 1 June 2013.
Who is Bailey?
We'll never know. All we know is that Lionel Essro...