A Pale View of Hills

Kazuo Ishiguro’s debut novel, A Pale View of Hills, is the author’s first foray into the world of the unreliable narrator. Our protagonist here is Etsuko, an older woman who emigrated from Japan to England some years ago. Etsuko is mother to two daughters – Keiko, who was born in Japan during Etsuko’s first marriage, and Niki, born in England to Etsuko and her second hus Continue reading

The Declaration, Chapters 24-25

It’s been a while, but we’re almost through this book, so let’s get down to the final chapters. I must admit I’ve forgotten the names of many of the supporting characters, but let’s hope that doesn’t impede this too much.

You may recall from the last blog that Evil Mrs Pincent turned out to have a Tragic Backstory, in which the son she wanted so dearly was born a Surplus. Mrs Pinsent always believed that said son was killed as baby, but in a narrative twist, our hero Peter turns out to have her family’s ring – the very ring she left with the child. Continue reading

The People in the Trees

Dr Abraham Norton Perreira was once known as the man who discovered the secret of immortality on a remote Micronesia island. Now, he is in the news for a very different reason, having just been convicted of sexually abusing one of his adopted children. Nonetheless, Perreira’s closest friend and colleague has taken it upon himself to publish Perreira’s memoirs, telling the story of his life and career. Continue reading

A Little Life

I have to admit that it can sometimes take very little to get me to buy a new book. An author with a Japanese name and some effusive praise on a London billboard was all it took to get me to invest in Hanya Yamashita’s A Little Life – I didn’t really have any clue what it was even going to be about. Of course, the book then languished on my Kindle for several years before I actually got around to reading it, but once I’d cracked its virtual cover, I was hooked. Continue reading

Exploring the work of James Tiptree Jr

Lately I’ve been listening to Eric Molinksy’s Imaginary Worlds podcast. Each episode delves deep into some aspect of sci-fi or fantasy, either examining a well-known franchise in depth, or bringing to light some obscure but often excellent piece of work. I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve learnt from Imaginary Worlds, not least my exposure to the life and work of author James Tiptree Jr in the episode The Mysterious James Tiptree. Continue reading

The Declaration, Chapter 21

We return to Grange Hall, where Sheila is having a rough time of it. Her only comforts are the pair of silk knickers she stole, and Anna’s diary, hidden in Female Bathroom 2.

Dislikeable Charlie also makes a return, and he’s determined to taunt Sheila and get her in trouble. And in fact, an unintended consequence of his actions is that one of the teachers discovers the stolen knickers, and Sheila gets sent to Evil Mrs Pinsent. Continue reading