I’m a sort of reader who doesn’t like to give up on books easily, but this latest book club read, an acclaimed debut novel from a Serbian-born Australian writer, really tested my patience for a good hundred pages before I finally started to find it somewhat rewarding.
The world’s only electronic psychedelic album sung entirely in Cornish; classy mature pop from the Everything But the Girl singer; warm and soothing techno-pop.
I have my friend and fellow fan to thank for a chance to attend this very special and unorthodox event involving one of my all-time favourite artists. I’ve lost count of how many times I saw Nick Cave live, but this speaking tour, with Cave candidly answering unpredictable questions from the audience and performing picks from his enormous back catalogue on the piano, was something very different.
I sadly missed out on the last time Florence + The Machine came to town about three years ago, so it was a thrill to see my favourite barefoot flame-haired pagan priestess live again.
This classic Poirot murder mystery always hovers near the top whenever a discussion of Christie’s greatest novels arises, rightly so. Along with a handful of later books, it made her name and displayed her particular genius for a simple yet daring concept, and an ending that yanks the carpet from under the unsuspecting reader’s feet.
Christie dedication at the beginning of the book (to her older sister, nicknamed Punkie) playfully refers to it as orthodox detective story, murder, inquest, and suspicion falling on everyone in turn! True enough, until its startling conclusion the novel runs as a straightforward and seemingly conventional murder mystery, taking place in a small village of King’s Abbot.
Books are like cities. Some you only ever need to visit once and you absorb all they have to offer in one go, while others you could re-visit over and over, getting lost in its alleys and passageways and noticing new things every time. This book, not quite a traditional novel but more like a novel in short stories, about the community in a small coastal town in Maine, is so rich in detail and insight I can see myself picking it up from the book shelf a few times over.