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May 24, 2010

Having taken ENGL114, I can tell you with considerable expertise that this is a gothic novel, and it epitomises everything about the genre—the unreliable narrator, the vulnerable female fighting supernatural forces, and the potential for misinterpretation at every corner. Set in 1891, Florence and Giles is the story of 12-year-old Florence and her half brother […]

May 10, 2010

The J.T. Leroy debacle was once described by the New York Times as the greatest literary hoax of our generation. After having read the book, I’m thinking maybe they should be glad that Leroy isn’t the drug-addled, child-abused, cross-dressing rape victim of this ‘autobiographical’ set of short stories. The stories (there are ten) begin in […]

April 26, 2010

When the author, Salman Rushdie, isn’t being slapped with death sentences by Iranian Ayatollahs or appearing in Bridget Jones’ Diary, he spends his free time writing wonderfully fantastical novels about Indian doll makers who try to lose themselves in American pop culture. In Fury, the doll maker in question is a Cambridge-educated scholar named Malik […]

April 19, 2010

Lo-lee-ta. This astonishing book by Vladimir Nabokov is a sumptuous and brilliantly nuanced love note to the beauty of the English language and the madness of passion. Paedophilic passion, that is. Set in the early fifties against a vivid American backdrop, we’re introduced to Humbert Humbert, a forty-something professor who looks back on his life […]

March 31, 2010

Take one very charismatic silver fox, throw in three or so pissed-off women, a sprinkling of English literature and a misguided grope in a bus stop shelter and you have a full-proof recipe for Gary Marshall’s next rom-com (sans the happy Valentine’s Day guarantee). One glance at the cheap paperback cover and you would be […]

March 29, 2010

…and thanks to the architect from New Zealand, who came to us and said “use me!” so we did… On Boxing Day 2004, as the earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a series of devastating tsunamis swallowing everything within their reach, Wellington architect and author Gerald Melling sat thousands of miles away blissfully unaware of […]

March 29, 2010

Veronika could have been a concert pianist but instead she got a law degree. And then she tried to kill herself. While this may seem like infallible logic to most, Veronika’s given reasons for taking to the sleeping pills were these: indignation over the world’s lack of interest in Slovenia—the novel’s setting—and the realisation that […]

March 15, 2010

We all have our own roads to follow, whether it be the road to second-year architecture, the road to toast for dinner, or the road down to the corner where you work to pay off your ‘student loan’. The difference is that we aren’t walking that road in a post apocalyptic earth where everything you […]

March 8, 2010

Infinitely more likable than that other American psycho George W, protagonist extraordinaire Patrick Bateman is the ultimate yuppie: offensively rich and deeply metrosexual, with a personality-destroying job on Wall Street to seal the deal. Naturally, he must be a serial killer. Bateman indeed finds himself adrift in a self-created world of narcissism, materialism, and emotional […]