Year of a Hundred books – #98 A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time BeingRuth Ozeki


Fittingly, since it is on the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize, A Tale for the Time Being, is, I think, one of the most egregious examples of the ‘pretentious award baiting novel’ stereotype I’ve ever read. A non-linear narrative, appendices, a narrator who’s a fictionalised version of the author, discovery of a hidden treasure that may have been related to a recent tragedy (in this instance the Fukushima earthquake and the resulting tsunami), religion and philosophy, death, and a rather uncomfortable sexual encounter. Despite all of this, it’s a distinctly average book. There are some good aspects, but in general the story was quite boring and the execution made it hard to become invested.

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Year of a Hundred books – #85 The Road Between Us

The Road Between UsThe Road Between Us – Nigel Farndale


The Road Between Us is the next instalment as it were in Transworld’s second annual Historical Reading Challenge and is very different from Hereward: End of Days. Intertwining two plotlines, the book follows father and son Charles and Edward Northcote and explores the differences and similarities between them. The former an RAF officer dishonourably discharged in 1939 for being caught in a hotel room with a German man, the latter a FCO official who’s been held hostage in Afghanistan for eleven years and struggles to return real life.

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