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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 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

Tombland/CJ Sansom

Historical faction has proved a popular genre but some are better than others and CJ Sansom in his Shardlake series is the best. Why so? In his Shardlake novels you get three things: (1) a murder mystery; (2) social and political history; and (3) colourful characters. Tombland is his 7th Shardlake [...]

November 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

An early ending

At what stage does a disgruntled reader give up on his/her book? It’s an issue that troubles many a book club. Some have rules that provided the member gives a cogent reason he/she can give up. I was guest at one where Saul Bellow novel The Adventures of Argie March was “set”. At least half [...]

October 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Streets/Anthony Quinn

One of the many joys of writing for The Rust is the collegiate atmosphere. I am no sports buff though I follow the fortunes of West Bromwich Albion and I value the opinions of  Alan (Tanner) Ivan (Conway), Doug (Heath) Rex (Williams) and  Tom (Hollingsworth) on any book I review with a sporting [...]

September 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

Book clubs and The Rehearsal/ Eleanor Catton

I do not like my reading to be prescribed by others and for this reason tend to avoid book clubs. However an erudite and cultivated friend of mine invited me to such a group and I accepted. The book to be discussed was The Rehearsal by Eleanor Carton     her first novel written when she was [...]

September 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Prague Spring /Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer returns to the historical Czechoslovakian theme of The Glass Room in this novel set in 1968 Prague. It is seen through the prism of two couples: James and Ellie, two university students hitchhiking randomly through Europe, and diplomat Sam Wareham in the British Embassy and his [...]

September 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

A Shot in the Dark

Novelist Lynne Truss is an interesting writer. She worked as a sportswriter, wrote an international best seller Eats Shoots and Leaves and has now written this comic detective novel based on her radio plays and set in Brighton in the fifties. It’s not really a homage to Graham Greene’s [...]

August 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

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