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Krakatau Dragon: Legend One: The Hatchling Prince

McLennan has written a delightful first book about the formation of Sumatra.  When the island volcano of Krakatau explodes, Minkatau, Queen of the Krakatau Fire-Dragons is hurled from her fire-cave as far as the icy waters of the great frozen South land, where her Hatchling Prince, MoroToba is ready to be born. Once the PrinceContinue reading “Krakatau Dragon: Legend One: The Hatchling Prince”

Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Based on the Jonestown massacre, this book is a fast-paced, concise read. There is always a feeling that you are on the edge of the killing that is to come. Woollett has interviewed the survivors of the event. Jim Jones has celebrity swagger, is eloquent and persuasive, wears dark shades and is handsome. In theContinue reading “Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett”

Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson

This book was published in 1998, and the context of what is written must be viewed through that lens. It is an autobiography of the character Marilyn Manson modelled on Dante’s Inferno. Manson’s signature is saying extreme things, pushing limits, transgressing to test people’s acceptance. This fiction stays completely in this lane, with intentional ironyContinue reading “Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson”

History of Violence by Édouard Louis

This autobiographical novel documents Édouard’s rape at gunpoint. Édouard’s ambivalence toward Reda – the perpetrator – is at the centre of the subtle and complex story. Although Édouard reports him to the police he tries to understand what happened. After analysing the motives of Reda, he realises that Reda is ashamed of his homosexuality. Édouard’sContinue reading “History of Violence by Édouard Louis”

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

In this story Adeline or Addie cuts a deal with the darkness to escape her mundane village existence. Henry is the only person who remembers her name. She explains to him everyone else forgets her the minute she walks away “Because”, she says, slumping back against the concrete wall. “I’m cursed”. Addie is born inContinue reading “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab”

Before the Coffee gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.

In a little coffee shop in Tokyo, Fumiko is dumped by her boyfriend. He leaves for America, leaving her devastated. She revisits the place and enquires about a fabled magic chair that lets people time travel. A ghostly woman occupies the chair and only when she visits the powder room can you sit there, orContinue reading “Before the Coffee gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.”

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book investigates how people cope with the unspeakable. The character Eleanor is an authentic and lonely person who isolates on schedule. She slowly moves into the world of other people when a neighbour needs her help. “I was glad to help, glad to be moving away from Mummy-related conversation. There were various chores MrsContinue reading “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman”

The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) by Herman Hesse.

Set in the future around 25 AD this allegory is told from an historian’s perspective. It focuses on the 23rd Century and the main character is Joseph Knecht. Set in Castalia, the story is revealed through documents written by Knecht’s contemporaries. Further insight is gained through poems and short stories written by Knecht. Castalia isContinue reading “The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) by Herman Hesse.”