TREE OF SMOKE

Tree of Smoke is a 2007 novel by American author Denis Johnson which won the National Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It is about a man named Skip Sands who joins the CIA in 1965, and begins working in Vietnam during the American involvement there. The time frame of the novel is from 1963 to 1970, with a coda set in 1983. One of the protagonists of Tree of Smoke is Bill Houston, who was the main character in Johnson’s 1983 debut novel Angels.

Continue reading “TREE OF SMOKE”

2666

2666 is the last novel by Roberto Bolaño. It was released in 2004, a year after Bolaño’s death. Its themes are manifold, and it circulates around an elusive German author and the unsolved and ongoing murders of women in Santa Teresa, a violent city inspired by Ciudad Juárez and its epidemic of female homicides. In addition to Santa Teresa, settings and themes include the Eastern Front in World War II, the academic world, mental illness, journalism, and the breakdown of relationships and careers. 2666 explores 20th-century degeneration through a wide array of characters, locations, time periods, and stories within stories.

Continue reading “2666”

BRING UP THE BODIES

Bring Up the Bodies is a historical novel by Hilary Mantel and sequel to her award-winning Wolf Hall. It is the second part of a planned trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. Bring Up the Bodies won the 2012 Man Booker Prize and the 2012 Costa Book of the Year. It is to be followed by The Mirror and the Light.


Continue reading “BRING UP THE BODIES”

WOLF HALL

Wolf Hall (2009) is a historical novel by English author Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate, named after the Seymour family seat of Wolfhall or Wulfhall in Wiltshire. Set in the period from 1500 to 1535, Wolf Hall is a sympathetic fictionalised biography documenting the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More. The novel won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.


The book is the first in a trilogy; the sequel Bring Up the Bodies was published in 2012. The last book in the trilogy will be called The Mirror and the Light and is expected to cover the last four years of Cromwell’s life.

Continue reading “WOLF HALL”

NEMESIS

Nemesis is a novel by Philip Roth published on 5 October 2010, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is Roth’s 31st book, “a work of fiction set in the summer of 1944 that tells of a polio epidemic and its effects on a closely knit Newark community and its children.” In 2012, Philip Roth told an interviewer that Nemesis would be his last novel.

Continue reading “NEMESIS”

THE ART OF FIELDING

The Art of Fielding is a 2011 novel by American author Chad Harbach. It centers on the fortunes of shortstop Henry Skrimshander and his career playing college baseball with the fictional Westish College Harpooners. The novel was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, and was featured on several year-end lists. Continue reading “THE ART OF FIELDING”

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Independence Day is a 1995 novel by Richard Ford and the sequel to Ford’s 1986 novel The Sportswriter. The novel follows Frank Bascombe, a New Jersey real estate agent (and ex-sportwriter), through the titular holiday weekend as he visits his ex-wife, his troubled son, his current lover, the tenants of one of his properties, and some clients of his who have been having trouble finding the perfect house. It focuses in particular on a car trip with his son to the Basketball and Baseball halls of fame.

Continue reading “INDEPENDENCE DAY”