A grey bee outline with gold wings on a black background

This history of bees

translated by Diane Oatley Bees are pretty cool insects. They are also pretty damn important. Insects in general are essential to the world we know, so maybe think twice before spraying those insecticides and getting rid of all the dandelions in your lawn. We need insects1 so we should be paying more attention to their […]

The unwomanly face of war

translated into English by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky When I saw this mentioned in some magazine or other I had to order it. I was vaguely aware of the Russian front during World War II, vaguely aware that women signed up and fought for Soviet Russia, but I knew very little more than that. […]

Seeking Whom He May Devour

Reread in April 2015 and it was just as good as I remembered. Original review from 22nd April 2006. ISBN: 0098461560 Trans from the French: David Bellos Yes again a cover influenced purchase, so I am glad to report that a good cover can lead to a good read too. I really enjoyed this book. […]

The son

translated from French by Adriana Hunter It is eleven days since our first person narrator has died. He was just twenty one years old when meningitis took him. Now he tells the story of how his parents, specifically his father, are trying to cope with that hard fact. Their son is dead. This is a […]

The Ice Palace

Siss is on her way through the dark evening to meet Unn. They have been going to school together ever since Unn came to live with her Auntie, but this is the first time they will really have met, conversed, gotten to know one another. They are both eleven. They look alike, but personality-wise they […]

The Metamorphosis

translated by David Wyllie : Read online at Project Gutenberg Most people are probably somewhat familiar with Franz Kafka. When we hear that something is Kafkaesque we think of the surreal and the absurd, but with a darkness. The Metamorphosis is possibly his most well known story. The tale of a travelling salesman who wakes […]

Manon Lescaut

Read online – Gutenberg This is a book I would never have picked up if not for the fact that it is on the reading list of an online course I’ve just started. It is the story of the Chevalier Des Grieux, the second son of a wealthy, upper-class French family in the early 18th […]

The shadow of the wind cover

The Shadow of the wind

One of my RIP reads Translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves Book 1 of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books In Barcelona a young boy is brought by his father to a secret place, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. He is told he may take any book he wishes. That whatever one he chose; will […]

Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar

Sorry

translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside. Seeing a couple break-up in public Kris goes over to apologise to the woman. He tells her that her ex is sorry for what he has done, that he wishes he hadn’t, that he wanted to say this himself but couldn’t. It makes her feel better. Of course, […]

In the sea there are crocodiles

In the sea there are crocodiles

The story of Enaiatollah Akbari, trans. from the Italian by Howard Curtis When Enaiat is around ten his mother takes him from his village in Afganistan and they travel Pakistan. And then, after a few days, she leaves him there, and goes back home to his younger brother and sister. At first Enaiat isn’t sure […]

The Islandman

Translated from the Irish (An tOileánach) by Robin Flower Tomás Ó Criomhthain, or, if you’d prefer an anglicised version, Thomas O’Crohan, was born on the Great Blasket Island in 1856. He lived all his life there as a farmer and fisherman, married and had ten children, although many of them died before reaching adulthood. In […]

The devil in the flesh

ISBN: 9781906548254
translated by Christopher Moncrieff

Although the 1930’s mini challenge has come to an end, when I spotted this book at work I thought it might fit, and wanted to read more books of that time. Of course then I read the details and discovered that it was actually written earlier than that… Oh well :)

The devil in the flesh created quite a bit of a scandal when it was published, semi-autobiographical, the author wrote it from the age of sixteen to eighteen, after his own affair with a married woman. And that, my dears, is the central theme to this book. In fact, it is the end all and the be all of everything in this book. Our 15/16 year old narrator’s affair with a married woman. And I found that incredibly off-putting.

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