Wednesday, January 26, 2011

General Fiction – Lawrence Norfolk, Robert Nye, Robert C. O’Brien, Charles Palliser, Mervyn Peake, Juan Perucho , Jayne Anne Phillips, Popol Vuh & Amanda Prantera

Lemprière's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk is an unusual and complicated historical novel described in Wikipedia as “starting out as a detective story and mixing historical elements with steampunk-style fiction It imagines the writing of Lemprière's dictionary as tied to the founding of the British East India Company and the Siege of La Rochelle generations before”.


Robert Nye’s imaginative and clever The Memoirs of Lord Byron is quite a wonderful confection, written in a style that one imagines would be Byron’s had his memoirs not been destroyed on his death.


Robert C. O’Brien is the author of several award winning children’s books, his best known being Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.


The Quincunx by Charles Palliser is a Dickensian mystery set in Victorian times. A best seller in its day, it is a complex sprawling monster of a book.


Look what I found lurking in the general fiction shelves – Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor by Mervyn Peake. This is a 1973 edition published by Academy Editions.


An unusual magic realist vampire novel - Natural History by Catalan author Juan Perucho.


Jayne Anne Phillips book of short stories Black Tickets, won her the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and has since become a classic. This King Pengiun edition has a rather classy cover by Russell Mills.


I seem to have this edition of Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Ancient Maya, no doubt acquired during my New Age phase in the 1970s.


And finally for this post, the novels of Amanda Prantera. The first of her books that I read was Strange Loop, an elegant and haunting gothic tale of a werewolf . The Cabalist, a spooky metaphysical thriller is her second novel and well worth the effort to seek out and read. All Prantera’s early books are interesting and unusual novels, (and I dare say her later ones too) but my favourite still is Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion 163 years after His Lordship’s Death.

prantera_strangeloop prantera_cabalist
prantera_byron prantera_sideofthemoon


Next - “R” to “S” writers

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have all three of Norfolk's novels, although I've only read Lemprière's Dictionary. I've also read and enjoyed Palliser's The Quincunx, and another novel by him whose title I forget.