Book Reviews
The Greater Trumps: Charles Williams
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews, Featured Comments Off on The Greater Trumps: Charles Williams

This is a strange book. I began reading in hopes that the author’s intention was to use fiction to teach the meanings of the major arcana or greater trumps of the tarot, but having finished the novel I have serious doubts on that score. The story seems as mysterious and open to interpretation as the […]

Rumi’s Daughter: Muriel Maufroy
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews, Featured Comments Off on Rumi’s Daughter: Muriel Maufroy

In spite of the strapline on the front cover: “In the bestselling tradition of The Alchemist “, whatever that means exactly (“In the tradition of the bestselling novel The Alchemist perhaps? “) I was so tempted by the design and format (small, almost square hardback, delicious colours and patterns), that I bought the book. Generally, […]

Inamorata: Joseph Gangemi
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews, Featured Comments Off on Inamorata: Joseph Gangemi

The novel opens with a sentence of two words – one of the best hooks I’ve ever read. ‘Hypnotize her,’ says a drunken student, shoving a leggy sophomore towards our hero-to-be, Martin Finch. They’re at a party in Emerson’s student lounge in the 1920s, where illicit alcohol is pretty freely available; a crowd gathers and […]

The Seventh Telling; The Kabbalah of Moshe Katan: Mitchell Chefitz
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Seventh Telling; The Kabbalah of Moshe Katan: Mitchell Chefitz

What can I tell you about this book? I approached it with trepidation. A Novel, it says, underneath the subtitle, yet the reviews on the back cover promised not only ‘insights into the Kabbalah’, but ‘…greater knowledge of the Divine healing power within yourself.’ I’m suspicious of promises – disappointment usually follows – and the […]

The Rapture: Patrick Harpur
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Rapture: Patrick Harpur

Possibly the most compelling and intricately plotted novel I’ve ever read, with an original slant that takes the breath away. Part One details the progress of an autistic and severely damaged nine-year-old called Mikey, as Ruth, his nurse, struggles to cope with both the demands of her role in his recovery and her own growing […]

16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Serpent’s Circle: Patrick Harpur

Tom, a novice with The Little Brothers of the Apostles, an order of monks in the West of England, accidentally witnesses part of his friend George’s initiation at the ancient burial mound near the Abbey. Later, his gift of second sight (he can see the auras of those around him), the mysterious disappearance of George […]

Identity: Milan Kundera
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Identity: Milan Kundera

How many of us can claim to truly know the mind of the person closest and dearest to us? In this small gem of a novel Milan Kundera holds his magic mirror to the thoughts of lovers Chantal and Jean Marc, sliding from one to the other with deceptive ease. The novel begins with Chantal, […]

The Arabian Nightmare: Robert Irwin
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Arabian Nightmare: Robert Irwin

A book of stories in stories in stories, dreams, and dreams within dreams within dreams, reversals and sleights of hand, The Arabian Nightmare managed by some magic to hold this reader in a constant state of curiosity and fascination, coming at times dangerously close to short-circuiting my brain altogether. Balian is a pilgrim, travelling in […]

Exquisite Corpse: Robert Irwin
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Exquisite Corpse: Robert Irwin

Exquisite Corpse, purportedly the anti-memoire of a young Surrealist painter in the London of the late nineteen-thirties and forties, is really a Surrealist painting in words. Casper, the narrator, is writing it for Caroline, a beautiful young woman he met whilst being led blindfolded around a Soho masquerading as Hampstead; a sort of sacrificial goat […]

Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf: David Madsen
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf: David Madsen

These fictional memoirs open immediately with the engaging enough voice of the narrator, Peppe, the dwarf of the title. One of his tasks is to read from Augustine while a doctor tends to Pope Leo X’s frequently-buggered backside (an operation related in graphic detail). Earthy descriptions of life in the service of Leo, some laugh-aloud […]