Books

Reasons to Stay Alive

Nov 11, 2017

Matt Haig’s account of escaping anxiety and depression is as uplifting and life-affirming as its title suggests.

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

Oct 30, 2017

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s experimental novel explores the effect of age on memory and circumstance in San Francisco.

Revelation Space

Oct 6, 2017

A review of the hard sci-fi novel by Alastair Reynolds.

Hello America

Oct 3, 2017

So… has anyone else read this recently? It’s a bit spooky.

Command and Control

Sep 29, 2017

It took me three years to get through this amazing book on the history of nuclear weapons and their safety.

Acts of the Assassins by Richard Beard

Jul 30, 2016

This modern take on the legend of the apostles mixes genres and timelines to heady effect.

The Unlimited Dream Company

Jul 14, 2016

Among my favourite novels by J.G. Ballard, this silly romp through suburban sexual repression glitters with a sinister wit.

Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley

May 17, 2016

“Something Coming Through” is a science fiction novel set in the near future. A few years after a brief nuclear war known as “The Spasm”, an alien race known as the Jackaroo introduce themselves to humanity. The novel is funny, thoughtful, and politically charged. I found it to be a good read.

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy: Review

Nov 20, 2015

Parachutes, oil spills, cultural anthropology, and the river Styx. Of course.

The Martian: A Short Review

Oct 18, 2015

A short review of the movie adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian.

My Booker Prize Pick 2015

Oct 12, 2015

My pick for the 2015 Booker Prize is Satin Island by Tom McCarthy.

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Sep 29, 2015

Please can I travel back in time and stop myself from reading this junk?

Gods of Metal

Sep 2, 2015

This short piece of non-fiction should chill the spines of everyone, whether they are pragmatic about nuclear weapons or terrified of them.

Inherent Vice: A Short Review

Jul 25, 2015

A short review of the Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Apr 3, 2015

A review of The Martian by Andy Weir. A novel about an astronaut abandoned on Mars. In fact, he has survived. But how on Earth (Mars?!) will he get home?

Glow by Ned Beauman

Mar 16, 2015

A modern novel about a party drug and some foxes, among other things. Very funny indeed.

Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks

Jan 3, 2015

A little review of Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks, which I re-read over Christmas.

Building Brains

Oct 24, 2014

A garbled post about thinking about thinking; taking in David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King”, pictures of ghosts on Instagram, and teaching computers to love.

All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Sep 2, 2014

A single moment of carelessness irreversibly transforms a life in Evie Wyld’s second novel All The Birds, Singing.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Aug 24, 2014

Not as good as previous Murakami novels, but still a fun read.

Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

Aug 17, 2014

“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?”

High-Rise

Oct 5, 2013

“Let the psychotics take over. They alone understood what was happening.”

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

Jul 30, 2013

A short review of “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane” by Neil Gaiman. Also veers a little into befuddled wonderment about brains and memory.

Point Omega

Jul 23, 2013

A review of Don Delillo’s “Point Omega”, a confusing little novella.

Skios

Jul 5, 2013

A review of Michael Frayn’s “Skios”, a good little beach read.

Hawksmoor

Jun 26, 2013

Multiple time lines and murderous shenanigans in Peter Ackroyd’s “Hawksmoor”.

The Marriage Plot

May 20, 2013

A novel about love and growing up set in the privileged world of US academia in the early eighties.

Why I Love "On The Road"

Apr 11, 2013

My love for both the book and the movie version of “On The Road”, explained.

Consider Phlebas: A Picaresque In Space

Mar 18, 2013

The first of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.

On Pynchon

Feb 26, 2013

A new novel by Thomas Pynchon was recently announced, here’s why I love his books.

Even The Dogs

Sep 23, 2012

After “If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things” and “So Many Ways To Begin” comes “Even The Dogs”, a tougher read but still as beautifully written.

The Gone-Away World

Aug 15, 2012

An awesome science fiction novel about the power of identity, imagination, and nightmares.

Some Lessons In Love

Jun 25, 2012

A book about the many experiences we share when we fall in love.

Another Reading List

Jun 25, 2012

More books to add to the “University of life” course list!

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson

Jun 17, 2012

Gonzo is the biography of Hunter S. Thompson in graphical form. In case you don’t know his work, Hunter S. Thompson was a journalist who invented the so-called “gonzo” style.

The Lonely Londoners

Apr 9, 2012

A review of Sam Selvon’s “The Lonely Londoners”, a 1956 novel about the experiences of West Indian immigrants arriving in the UK in the Windrush years.

Never Mind The Ballards

Feb 9, 2012

Sometimes what seems at the outset like an exciting project can end up as a rod for your own back.

The Philosopher And The Wolf

Nov 2, 2011

It’s about a philosopher and his wolf. The clue is in the title really.

Dune

Sep 9, 2011

I finally took on the challenge of one of sci-fi’s iconic novels. Verdict: it’s iconic for a reason.

Concrete Island

Jun 21, 2011

What if you crashed your car, ended up on one of those hinterlands beside the motorway, and no one noticed that you were gone?

Favourite Culture Ship Names

Apr 3, 2011

One of my favourite things about the Culture novels is how the ships are named and having found a list on Wikipedia, I thought I would share ten of my favourites with you!

More Books

Mar 18, 2011

Perhaps only writing about JG Ballard novels was a bad idea…

Crash

Feb 1, 2011

Another Ballard novel, this time it’s the car wreck sex-o-rama that is “Crash”.

The Crystal World

Sep 26, 2010

Another Ballard novel, this time we’re off to a jungle that’s rapidly turning into Crystal. But why? Because it’s Ballard, that’s why.

The Drought by JG Ballard

Sep 8, 2010

Another Ballard novel, this time it’s The Drought (AKA The Burning World).

The Drowned World

Aug 14, 2010

Ballard’s first novel and the first point of call in reading all of them.

J. G. Ballard

Aug 2, 2010

As a project to get reading and writing regularly, I will try to read all of JG Ballard’s novels.

©Matthew Dorey 2018.

A bird is sitting on the grass with a kite.