Blog Archives

Review: Kafka, Franz “The Trial”

It remains mystifying that Kafka was not writing about a totalitarian society when he penned “The Trial”. He did not have the benefit, like Orwell, of observing the Soviet Union. Yet, so perspicacious was Kafka that he imagined almost entirely … Continue reading

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Review: “Irish-Soviet Diplomatic and Friendship Relations 1917-1991” by Michael Quinn.

    Umiskin press have published a timely account of Irish Soviet relations in this the centennial year of the wholly unnecessary Russian Revolution. Quinn developed this book from a thesis that he had submitted to earn his PHD.  Ultimately, … Continue reading

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Review: Stephanie Conn “The Woman on the Other Side”

Conn’s 2016 debut book of poetry sees her employing somewhat of a scatter gun approach as she writes with a polychromatic range of styles about a kaleidoscope of different themes. In “The Woman on the Other Side”, Conn writes about travel, Art, … Continue reading

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Review: “The Crossing. My journey to the shattered heart of Syria” by Samar Yazbeck

Introduction:         “Death was so straightforward here, so close and intimate” wrote Yazbeck of her three trips through rebel held areas of Syria in 2012 and 2013. Yazbeck’s prose whilst addressing the post-Revolutionary Syrian landscape is elegant. … Continue reading

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Review: Xu Hongci “No Wall Too High: One Man’s Extraordinary Escape from Mao’s Infamous Labour Camps”

Introduction:   Xu Hongci met Chairman Mao in June of 1953. Had the event been captured on film, it is highly likely that Hongci would have appeared like one of those people you see in the old propaganda films clapping … Continue reading

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Review: Mark Kurlansky “Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World”

Introduction:     Truthfully, I cannot say that I ever envisaged myself reading about cod. In fact, anything even vaguely scientific is usually beyond my remit. This is no slight on science, you understand. Far from it. I am an … Continue reading

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Review: “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami.

Introduction:     The true meaning of Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” is entrenched between multiple layers in a seabed of symbolism. Murakami mixes sharp and well written dialogue with long, lyrical, loquacious passages which explore the psychology and feelings … Continue reading

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