International Fiction reviews

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Ursula Todd is born on a snowy night in an English village in 1910. She dies before taking her first breath. But what if things had happened differently? What if she had lived?

Ursula is born again …

Read more ›

Harvest by Jim Crace

Harvest is a slow-burner of a book that sneaks up and surprises you. There’s ‘witchery about’ but I think that’s more to do with Jim Crace’s sorcery with words than anything else.

Starting off as a …

Read more ›

Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra

I remember, as a child, sitting at our kitchen bench one morning before school and feeling an earthquake. I remember feeling our apartment gently moving, the low rumble, the rattling of the picture f…

Read more ›

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I have a new crush. Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling. Set in Bogota in the 1990s and 60s, this book is part love story, part digging-into-your-shady-buddy’s-past. The openi…

Read more ›

Tenth of December by George Saunders

This collection of nine stories has the American literati excited, and I can understand their keen anticipation. George Saunders writes about people who are victims of unfortunate circumstances, and …

Read more ›

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

The history of this book is just a little bit amazing. Originally published in The Paris Review in 2002 and also included in the renowned O. Henry Prize Stories collection in 2003, it earned a small …

Read more ›

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

In Justin Cronin’s The Passage, a serum derived to save lives was tested on the 12 most reprehensible members of society, but its narrow success led to something much worse: for the virals, as they c…

Read more ›

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Netherlands’ Herman Koch may be considered (by some, at least) a remarkably talented man. A successful screenwriter, producer, playwright and novelist in Europe, his novel, The Dinner, will no do…

Read more ›

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I’m all about investment. Not the financial kind, despite the fact that The Passage is, at 766 pages, value for money but character investment—where the people you’re reading about become important t…

Read more ›

The Rehearsal: Eleanor Catton

The Rehearsal is a provocative, strange and remarkable book by Eleanor Catton – a 24-year-old who has won numerous prizes, a Fellowship to the Iowa Writers Workshop and has written a mature, confiden…

Read more ›