Stuff & Nonsense Blog

The Future: Nice Place to Visit

To paraphrase: the future, a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I’ve been spending a little bit of time reading novels set in the future. This does not necessarily mean genre Sci-Fi; you can be literary in the future too. And you can be downright silly. ‘Kronk’ is one such … Continue reading The Future: Nice Place to Visit


Chekhov’s Bet

It’s a matter of life and death in Anton Chekhov’s The Bet, a short story included in the bizarre collection ‘Masterpieces of Surprise’ (1966). You never know what is going to turn up in anthologies. This one was picked up, clearly, because of the cover which, it turned out, quite accurately illustrates the motley jumble … Continue reading Chekhov’s Bet

In Between Are All the Stories

The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories. Kate Atkinson, ‘Human Croquet’ Kate Atkinson has been unexpectedly at the centre of my reading life so far this year. Reading her latest novel ‘Transcription’ (2018) sent me to my shelves to find Penelope Fitzgerald’s ‘Human Voices’ (1980) to … Continue reading In Between Are All the Stories

Less is More

I really should just settle into an esoteric niche with my reading and give up the rest. Without specifically searching them out, so many books I pick up turn out to be about writers. Writers, it seems, like to write about writers. Just in the last year I read Richard Flanagan’s ‘First Person’ (2017), Miriam Toews … Continue reading Less is More