Biggles Air Detective by Captain WE Johns

This is the first Biggles book I’ve ever read and I am genuinely impressed. Obviously, Biggles is always going to triumph and isn’t going to be shot dead or shot down in his aircraft on Page 4, but nonetheless I have to say there’s a certain amount of ingenuity in some of these stories whichContinue reading “Biggles Air Detective by Captain WE Johns”

Cross of Fire by Colin Forbes

This is an extremely long thriller at over 550 pages. It needs to be though as there are so many characters not all of whom are what they seem to be at first appearance. The good people are: Paula Grey, Newman (who appears to be in a permanent bad mood), Nield, Butler, Tweed, and Marler.Continue reading “Cross of Fire by Colin Forbes”

Weasels in the Attic

This novella explores fertility, masculinity, marriage, and tropical fish in contemporary Japan. There are three interconnected scenes in the book. The connection is the narrator and one of his male friends called Saiki. The Narrator has a wife and they want to have children. In the first story, the narrator and Saiki visit a friendContinue reading “Weasels in the Attic”

The Clothes They Stood Up In

This is a superb story from Alan Bennett. As I read this, I was able to imagine listening to an audiobook of this story narrated by the author and loving the inflections of his voice. The story is about Rosemary and Maurice Ransome who come home from the opera to find their flat has beenContinue reading “The Clothes They Stood Up In”

Partisans by Alistair MacLean

This is a book mainly set in The Balkans in the middle of World War II. Three Yugoslavs set out from Rome to warn The Partisans about the German battle plan that will soon be launched against them. They are accompanied by a number of strange people who are not what they seem. In fact,Continue reading “Partisans by Alistair MacLean”

Metroland by Julian Barnes

This is Julian Barnes’s first book and it’s in three parts. The first and third sections are set in Metroland – a strip of suburbia in outer London – in 1963 and 1977 respectively. The middle section is set in Paris in 1968. The first section chronicles the development of a friendship between Christopher andContinue reading “Metroland by Julian Barnes”

Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

The original text for this book first appeared in Punch magazine but was turned into a book and published in 1892. Weedon Grossmith drew the illustrations that illuminate this book. This is the diary of Mr Charles Pooter who takes himself too seriously and is rather self-important. He has a habit of having small accidentsContinue reading “Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith”

Pigs have Wings by PG Wodehouse

I really do appreciate the Blandings Castle books of PG Wodehouse. The characters are larger than life and magnificent in their individual traits. Here both of the pigs vying for the Silver medal at the Fat Pigs event at the local agricultural show are stolen at different times but are returned in the nick ofContinue reading “Pigs have Wings by PG Wodehouse”

Marshlands by Andre Gide

This is autofiction, a form of fictionalized autobiography. Autofiction combines two mutually inconsistent narrative forms, namely autobiography and fiction. The protagonist of Marshlands is a writer who is writing a book called Marshlands about a reclusive character who lives in a tower and can fish out of his windows. The narrator or protagonist is someoneContinue reading “Marshlands by Andre Gide”

Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 7

Our room is a lovely blue colour with sunlight coming through a window high on the wall, so we must be in a cellar somewhere. Four beds, two in a bunk bed, and two separate, round beds are present. There are two litter trays at opposite ends of the room, along with a large, roundContinue reading “Our Cats in Amsterdam – Part 7”