International Fiction reviews

Cape May by Chip Cheek

Reviewed by Joanna Di Mattia

There’s an old-fashioned glamour to Chip Cheek’s impressive debut novel, Cape May, which I found very alluring. Set in 1957, in the seaside New Jersey town that gives the book its title, Cheek introd…

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Attraction by Ruby Porter

Reviewed by Chris Somerville

‘My earliest memories don’t come in images, but in thoughts,’ says the unnamed narrator early on in Attraction, the debut novel from New Zealand writer Ruby Porter, and it reads as an almost anti-man…

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Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

In Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan imagines a world in the past that is also the future. Britain has lost the Falklands War and driverless cars are the norm. Alan Turing, the great scientist, is also st…

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Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

Queenie’s life is not going to plan. She and her long-term partner are on a break that has no end in sight. She’s been forced to move out of the flat they shared together and into a disgusting shareh…

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Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt

Reviewed by Paul Goodman

Shedding the mask of Harriet Burden, the protagonist of her previous novel The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt reappears perhaps more overtly in Memories of the Future as ‘S.H.’ – a young woman who move…

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The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita

Reviewed by Danielle Mirabella

As a bookseller, when a book is recommended by other booksellers, my interest is automatically piqued. The Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita has sold over a million copies in Japan, in 2016…

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Lanny by Max Porter

Reviewed by Alison Huber

Literature runs through Max Porter’s veins. He’s been editorial director at Granta and Portobello books, home to some of my favourite books of recent years, and penned the affecting and brilliant deb…

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The Parisian by Isabella Hammad

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

It is 1914, and Midhat Kamal has travelled from Palestine to France to study medicine at the University of Montpellier. He is billeted with the Molineu family (Frédéric, father and academic; and Jean…

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Halibut on the Moon by David Vann

Reviewed by Jason Austin

In Halibut on the Moon, David Vann revisits a theme that plays out in his staggeringly good debut short-story collection, Legend of A Suicide. Indeed it’s a subject that the author knows intimately: …

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We, The Survivors by Tash Aw

Reviewed by Joanna Di Mattia

Tash Aw’s fourth novel, We, The Survivors reveals its mysteries slowly. Ah Hock, a Chinese Malaysian man, meets with a social researcher who wants to hear his story. We know, from the start, that sev…

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