Bookhemian Rhapsody is going to be quiet for a while.
I’m moving into a new job that’s going to swallow pretty much all my free time – I’ll barely have the time to read books, let along write about them.
But I’ll keep the site up and hopefully return to it one day.
Thanks for visiting and happy reading.
I read some amazing books in 2017, both new and old. But it was also a year tinged with considerable disappointment. Continue reading “2017 in review … and some changes in 2018”
My attempt to understand the rise – or the return, really – of the populist far right, at home and abroad. Continue reading “Books 47 to 50: The rise of the far right”
In his breakthrough novel, American Gods, Neil Gaiman sought to create a new American mythology. In his latest book he’s gone back to the classics, producing a short story collection that retells the Norse myths. He describes it as the fiction equivalent of a covers album. Continue reading “Book 11: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman”
The opening pages of this debut novel from Tamil author Anuk Arudpragasam are truly stunning.
Set during the dying days of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war, the novel introduces us to Dinesh, a young Tamil man left orphaned and alone by the fighting, as he carries a wounded six-year-old boy to a camp clinic. The boy’s arm has been shredded by shrapnel, dissolving his hand and forearm into a “soft, formless mass, spilling to the ground from some parts, congealing in others and charred everywhere else”. It’s not the boy’s first brush with amputation: he’s already missing a leg from an earlier encounter with a landmine. Continue reading “Book 1: The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam”
A private plane takes off from Martha’s Vineyard with eleven souls on board. Eighteen minutes later it crashes into the sea, killing all but two of them: a washed-up artist and a four-year-old boy. Continue reading “Book 47: Before The Fall by Noah Hawley”
“People say 9/11 was the worst terror attack of all time – was it? I think the small bombs that we hear about all the time, that go off in unknown markets, killing five or six, are worse. They concentrate the pain on the lives of a few. Better to kill generously rather than stingily.”
So declares one of the Kashmiri terrorists in Indian-American Karan Mahajan’s new novel. Continue reading “Book 30: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan”