Category Archives: William Boyd

Reading Notes 1 – Feat. William Boyd, Dermot Bolger and Nick Alexander

This post is the blogging equivalent of sweeping things under the carpet. I just haven’t felt passionate about or had the energy to write full posts on some of the books I’ve read recently, but I still want to share my opinions in brief so I decided to jot my thoughts down on little virtual post-its. Here they are;

The New Confessions, by William Boyd

Synopsis: The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.

3 stars 3/5

The Journey Home, by Dermot Bolger

Synopsis: The Journey Home’ is the story of a young boy’s struggle towards maturity, set against a shocking portrait of Ireland: a tough urban landscape, not a rural Eden. Francis Hanrahan, the shy child of grey suburban streets, is Francy at home to his country-born parents. But when he meets Shay, an older, wilder image of himself, he becomes Hano, and is cast out into the night-time world of Dublin — a world of drugs, all-night drinking sessions in bars and snooker halls, and the stench of political corruption.

2 stars2/5

The Journey Home Post It

13:55 Eastern Standard Time, by Nick Alexander

Synopsis: Alice looks at the phone and then glances at the clock. 13:55 EST makes – she counts on her fingers – about 6pm in Berlin. He’ll be on his way home. Alice settles into the armchair and dials the number… If Alice hadn’t bumped into Will then she would probably never have phoned that afternoon. And if Alice hadn’t called, then Michael, poor Michael, might still be alive today. In a digital age of world-spanning communications and easy travel these stories explore how interconnected and yet fragmented our lives have become, and how – no matter where we live or what we do, no matter how different our lifestyles – the universal desires for love and happiness draw us ever onward.

3.5 stars 3.5/5

13:55 Eastern Standard Time

Mr Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi

Synopsis: It’s an ordinary afternoon in 1938 for the celebrated American novelist St John Fox, hard at work in the study of his suburban home – until his long-absent muse wanders in. Mary Foxe (beautiful, British and 100% imaginary) is in a playfully combative mood. “You’re a villain,” she tells him. ‘A serial killer… can you grasp that?”

Mr Fox has a predilection for murdering his heroines. Mary is determined to change his ways. And so she challenges him to join her in stories of their own devising, and the result is an exploration of love like no other.

Mr Fox

More impartial and eloquent reviews of The Journey Home can be found here at Reading Matters who awarded it 4/5 and here at Chasing Bawa.

Also, has anyone out there read Mr Fox? I really liked the premise and I’ve heard so many good things about her other books, but maybe I’m just not in the mood for it right now, or maybe my imaginative power has been crushed by the 9 to 5 :) Would love to know what other people’s experience of this book is.