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Thursday, 29 August 2019


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Christopher Lovegrove

Oh, you have tempted me sorely with this review, exactly the kinds of intricacies and humour and references and subtexts that interest and delight me! And the Grail legend too! I'm now torn, do I read the Salterton trilogy (which my partner has just completed) or do I beat her to the Cornish? Should I savour the anticipation or go for indulgence?!

Thanks so much for these informative comments, and also for the illustrations, pictures worth several additional thousand words.

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

Thank you, marvelous review!

I believe I'm not alone in considering this Davies's triumph as a novelist. It was shortlisted for the Booker, along with The Handmaid's Tale, but both lost to Martin Amis. Too bad that though Atwood got her chance later, Davies never won the prize. Might have given him a bit of a higher profile.

Anyway, I do hope you'll enjoy all the posts from this week. There is a lot to chew on there, so take your time.


Christopher, thanks for your comment! It is such a rich book and I could burble on all day about it. I had really forgotten what a great writer he is and I am very grateful for this reading week giving me a push back to his work.

I can't help you with your dilemma; I have one of my own, Deptford or Salterton (since I don't have the rest of Cornish)? And does the proroguation of Parliament entitle me to order a copy of his essays in consolation?


Hello Lory, sorry, we cross-posted! It is a great novel. I think it was Kingsley rather than Martin who won the Booker, with The Old Devils - which is a pretty good novel but I don't think really compares with this one.

Thanks again for hosting this!


Like you, I read this before I went back to read The Rebel Angels. I don't know if it was a matter of marketing (if it was downplayed at the time of publication that it was the second part of a trilogy) or if I knew and dismissed any fleeting concern about it. In any case, I absolutely loved it and it was technically the book that sparked my interest in his work. (I read 5th Business so many times, three years later, that I had actually forgotten this first reading. Likely due to my present-day obsession with reading in proper serial form. But, I do understand your situation on holiday!)


You don't need prorogation as an excuse to order his essays, Helen, a birdsong, a blink of an eye, a shadow stealing across the carpet is all the reason you need! And burbling is good (at least, that's what I tell myself)!


Buried in Print, I fear that on my part I acquired this book because it was a freebie produced by Waterstone's, a chain bookshop in the UK. Ahem. But it was nominated for the Booker Prize, as Lory points out, so it may be that it received more attention than The Rebel Angels. I did feel anxious about reading it out of sequence (I experience great worry about reading the Narnian books too). But I tell myself I'll be reading and rereading RD for a while to come so it's only the first reading that will be affected in any way.

What a beautiful sentiment, Chris! I may copy that out and stick it on my noticeboard. It is of course completely true, but my husband is Not A Reader (I know! But it means there's more space for my books in the house) so sometimes I have recourse to excuses for buying books. Prorogation, which I can barely spell, seems as good as any!

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