Book review: My grandmother sends her regards and apologises by Fredrik Backman

  Fredrik Backman loves to give us characters with prickly dispositions. Seven-year-old Elsa of My grandmother sends her regards and apologises is no exception. Then again, who can blame her with a grandmother who flings poop at the police, breaks into zoos and makes it her life’s mission to torment their highly strung neighbour Britt-Marie? […]

Grey Magic by JT Lawrence: An enchanting read about a modern-day witch

  Book Review: Grey Magic by JT Lawrence Device: ePub Location: On the KTX from Seoul to Daegu; in bed the whole of Sunday; on the express bus to Gangneung for Christmas Rating: Enchanting   I started reading JT Lawrence’s latest novel Grey Magic on the KTX train from Seoul to Daegu. I had just […]

Two reviews: The Texture of Shadows and We Are Not Such Things

Book Review: The Texture of Shadows: A Novel by Mandla Langa Publisher: Picador Africa Device: Paperback Location: In bed Rating: Revolutionary   Book Review: We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun Publisher: Jonathan Ball Device: Kobo Location: In bed Rating: Unsettling   Today I’m reviewing two books side by side because I […]

Love letter to a dive bar – The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk

  Book Review: The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk Device: Hardcover Location: One Saturday, in my bed in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Google an appropriate synonym for mindfuckingly beautiful   In 1998, a young South African makes his way to New York in pursuit of what Toast Coetzer calls “the Afrikaans American Dream”. Nearly […]

Magical realism meets historical fiction: Baudolino by Umberto Eco

  Book Review: Baudolino by Umberto Eco Device: Paperback Location: On the KTX from Daegu to Seoul and back (twice); Bus 405 to the gynaecologist’s office Rating: Transcendental   When I was a student at Rhodes University I was often daunted by the idea of reading Umberto Eco. The great Italian writer, who died this […]

Book review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope

  Book Review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope Device: Paperback Location: Green line – Gamsam-dong to Sinnam; Monorail – Sinnam to Suseong Lake in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Unsure   In an interview with Sue Grant-Marshall in April last year, Christopher Hope said that older South Africans would remember the greeting, “How are you doing Jim […]

Can you ever go home? On reading The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou

  Book Review: The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou Device: Paperback Location: My apartment, ν•΄ν”Όνƒ€μš΄, Jungri-dong, Daegu, South Korea Rating: By God, it’s beautiful   I waited nine months before finally reading Alain Mabanckou’s memoir, The Lights of Pointe-Noire. In September last year, I covered a panel discussion with Mabanckou at the 2015 Open […]