The Cultural Revolution – The Bloomfield Review
Frank Dikötter’s The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976 completes the trilogy begun with 2010’s Mao’s Great Famine and continued in 2013 with a prequel volume, The Tragedy of Liberation. This narrative history of the Cultural Revolution, however, holds up remarkably well as an independent volume. Continue reading “The Cultural Revolution, by Frank Dikötter”
The Buried Giant – Ishiguro’s surprising tale.
A great deal of surprise has been expressed among fans and critics at the subject matter of Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel The Buried Giant. The book is in the realm of historical fantasy – Tolkien meets Sir Walter Scott meets Game of Thrones set in an Arthurian, post-Roman Civilization Britain. An elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, journey to find their son through an eerie, inhospitable, landscape shrouded in a strange amnesia-inducing mist, encountering knights, ogres, demons, fiends, dragons and pixies along the way. Continue reading “The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro”
Dennis Lehane is serious about death. His novels are filled with petty criminals, crooked cops, and damaged gangsters. The stories veer from hard-boiled noir to literary social commentary, but through them all lies an anxious flirtation with death. This preoccupation is pushed to the forefront of his new novel World Gone By, giving it a surprisingly meditative and melancholy tone. Continue reading “World Gone By, by Dennis Lehane”
World War One was “the first calamity of the 20th Century, the calamity from which all other calamities sprang.” The sheer complexity of the Wars’ origins has produced an endless debate which is still raging today more than 100 years on, with over 25,000 books and articles written on the subject. The Centenary of the Wars’ outbreak 2 years ago produced a fresh and stimulating crop, including superb offerings from Margaret MacMillan, Max Hastings and Sean MacMeekin, but Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers must rank among the most stimulating, well researched and well-argued accounts. Continue reading “The Sleepwalkers, How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark”