Books/Cinema


Articles in this section

  • Some E.T.A. Hoffmann books

    by Ray

    The Devil’s Elixirs (1815)
    Hoffmann is one of the masters of the romantic movement in Germany, he is one of my favourite authors, and this book is usually considered to be his masterpiece, so Achtung!
    This novel, his first, about the doings of a strange monk who guards a mysterious elixir of (...)

  • Some Mario Vargas Llosa books

    by Ray

    The Cubs and other stories (1959)
    This was Mario Vargas Llosa’s first published story, about growing up and learning about life on the streets in Lima, a theme he developed extensively in his impressive first full-length novel The Time of the Hero (La ville et les chiens). Darned interesting. (...)

  • Some W.G. Sebald books

    by Ray

    Vertigo (1990)
    This is a literary essay on memory and the tricks it plays on us by a modern master of evocative, erudite, clear-sighted prose. Sebald takes us in the superb opening chapter with Stendahl through the Alps during Napoleon’s Italian campaign to meditate on the contrast between (...)

  • Some P.G. Wodehouse Books

    by Ray

    Very Good, Jeeves!
    Although I have always been a P.G. Wodehouse fan (how can one possibly not be?), I have tended to avoid the Jeeves books on the (foolishly mistaken) grounds that they would be too predictable, preferring the almost-always-wildly-funny collections of stories about Archie (...)

  • Pepe Carvalho: a Spanish Hercule Poirot

    by Ray

    The Quintet of Buenos Aires by Manuel Vasquez Montalban is a big, rather verbose, but all in all quite captivating plunge into the darker side of life in contemporary Argentina as we follow the investigations of an odd-ball but very distinctive detective from Barcelona named Pepe Carvalho, who (...)