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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

Fateful Choices:The Decisions that changed the World 1940-1/Ian Kershaw

Historian Ian Kershaw has analysed the critical decisions that shaped World War Two but whether they changed the world is perhaps another matter. Several are quite obvious: Hitler ‘s decision to launch Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union when Western Europe was under the Nazi jack boot [...]

April 12, 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

Churchill/ Walking with Destiny

For various reasons I’m not a great reader of biography. Most are so long that they take up a month’s reading, they tend to detail day by day the life of the subject rather than provide a full picture of him/her and I do not remember much of the content. However I greatly enjoyed Andrew [...]

March 8, 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

History as bunk (or maybe not)

It inevitably comes with the territory that dramatic depictions of historical figures and events have a tenuous relationship with the actualité. On several levels there is nothing particularly bizarre in that statement if you think about it. Let’s begin with the fact that virtually all dramatic [...]

January 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Family times

They say that simple things please simple minds. Over time the Byfords, who love playing parlour games such as Name In The Hat, a variation of it – sometimes known as Who Am I? – in which everyone is issued with a ‘sticky’ on their forehead on which is written the name of a [...]

January 3, 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

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