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Articles by Melanie Gay

About Melanie Gay

A former literary agent with three published novels of her own, Melanie retains her life-long love of the written word and recently mastered the Kindle. She is currently writing a historical novel set in 17th Century Britain and Holland. More Posts

The Professor and the Parson/Adam Sisman

The biographer Adam Sisman is clearly intrigued by con men. His biography of Professor Hugh Trevor Roper necessarily had to discuss how, when and why he was duped into authenticating the Hitler diaries. The next one on John le Carre had to feature his conman father. Hugh Trevor Roper was intrigued [...]

June 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

Middle England/ Jonathan Coe

Middle England by Jonathan Coe might end up as the definitive Brexit novel as it’s set from 2012 to the present day. The author does not disguise his remain sympathies but he brings out well the various motives and rationale for voting either way and the destruction it wrought. I first came [...]

May 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

Love is Blind / William Boyd

William Boyd is one of of Britain’s most popular and successful novelists. He is also one of our most versatile. You never know quite what to expect when you read a Boyd novel. The hero or heroine might be male or female, it can take place in any location in any epoch. It can be comic it can be [...]

April 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Metropolis/Philip Kerr

Metropolis is the final novel of Philip Kerr, published posthumously as he died of cancer on 23rd March 2018 aged 62. It’s also the final one in the Bernie Gunther series. The best are probably the first three published – The March Violets set in the rise of Nazism, the title is the name [...]

April 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

A literary discovery from the 1920s

It was both a little surprising but also perhaps a sign of the times to learn by chance recently that the BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow programme – now occupying the 8.00pm transmission slot on Sunday evenings – is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in this year. I open with that [...]

April 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

A Long Night in Paris/ Dov Alfon

Dov Alfon, an Israeli author, is in the modern style of espionage writer. He was an Israeli Intelligence officer and highly knowledgeable on gizmos and techno. The problem however arises that (1) these are not that interesting as opposed to characters to the reader; and (2) he lacks the writer’s [...]

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Makioka Sisters /Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichoro Tanizaki is one of the Japanese literary giants of the twentieth century. I was invited to a book club where the book under review was his The Makioka Sisters. This is the story of 4 sisters, the daughters of an Osakan merchant, whose family wealth and status is dwindling in the 1930s. I [...]

February 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

Normal people/ Sally Rooney

Irish writer Sally Rooney is very much ‘literary flavour of the month’ with two successful and critically-acclaimed novels now published. Her second Normal People I approached with some wariness. It won the Costa Prize and there was some concern that it failed to land the Man Booker. [...]

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Book journal

One thing we don’t do on the Rust is product endorsement for financial gain. Readers may not realise that when, for example, a celebrity is recommending somewhere or something in a newspaper he/she is expecting a high payment. So when I recommend the Moleskine range of journals it is because [...]

December 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

Justin Cartwright

One discovers the death of someone one knows in all sorts of ways. Normally somebody closer to the deceased than I informs me. Yesterday I learned of the passing of novelist Justn Cartwright aged 73 from his obituary in the Telegraph. A few years ago I saw quite a bit of him. I was a consultant to [...]

December 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

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