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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Friday 04 May 2007


Michael Ondaatje, photograph copyright Ulla Montan

At the Booksellers' Association Conference earlier in the week, I picked up a couple of finished copies of Michael Ondaatje's forthcoming novel, Divisadero (published by Bloomsbury and not due out until September). So, who would like my spare copy? Email me, and I'll pop it in the post to you (previous freebie winners are excluded from this "offer"!) Oh, once you've read it, if you could write me a little review, that would be nice.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
Tags: ,

Reader Comments

Friday 04 May 2007

Paul Griffiths says...

Yes please. And I'll see if I can write something. Best wishes, p

Saturday 05 May 2007

Mark says...

Hi Paul,

It's yours. Enjoy!


Wednesday 16 May 2007

Liz Rowland says...

I was devastated by the change of stories about threequarters of the way through this book. I kept waiting for the characters to meet either in reality or theme or emotion, but did not feel that I had been given chance to say goodbye to the first lot before launching into the next. If I had known in advance I might not have been left with this feeling. I did not think that the second story was as coherent as usual. Iwaited for a character to emerge and a feeling of time and place, but their stories never seemed to come out. The only theme I can think of offhand (I only finished it this morning) was of chances taken or not taken, but perhaps if I discuss it with someone else I might feel more forgiving. When I first saw the Almadobar film All About My Mother I spent the whole film trying to recover from the death of the son and so missed a lot of what followed. I had the same feeling with this book so perhaps I would enjoy it more on second reading, but I don't think i'm likely to give it the chance.

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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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