Book Review: The Quarry

I started reading this book with my emotions running high, knowing Iain Banks had completed it so near to death. But I determined to be fair, not to like it just because he died. But I did like it. A lot. The story is full of imagery: the quarry, the actual hole in the ground is the unknown faced by the two key characters: Guy, who is facing death; and his son Kit, who faces life without his father. Both stand on the edge of emptiness. Kit is the key narrator. Described as ‘a bit odd’ and ‘socially disabled’, I liked
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If books were real, Agatha Raisin…

Agatha Raisin …would be Julie Walters, with a little padding [as in Mrs Weasley] and a plate of Gin and Tonic cupcakes.   ‘Something Borrowed Something Dead’ by MC Beaton [C&R Crime] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’ Jamie Fraser in ‘Cross Stitch’ Adam Dalgliesh in ‘Devices and Desires’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Agatha Raisin would love cupcakes SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMEONE DEAD by @mc_beaton via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-qQ
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Great Opening Paragraph 35… ‘Room’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. ‘Was I minus numbers?’” ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue  Amazon Read my review of Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers ‘Family Album’ by Penelope Lively ‘These Foolish Things’ by Deborah Moggach And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my
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I agree with… Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford “For me it all starts with a memorable character. Graham Greene, the legendary English novelist once said in a famous interview that “Character is plot.” This is the best advice I ever got as a novelist. When I sit down to write a book, I try to tell a compelling story about one single character. What this person is inside, and how they view the world is your story. That’s how it began for me with Emma Harte in ‘A Woman of Substance’. You begin with a character that your readers can relate to and build the
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New books coming soon

Diane Setterfield The Yorkshire author of The Thirteenth Tale has signed a new deal with Orion for her Victorian ghost story Bellman & Black, due out in October. A TV production of The Thirteenth Tale for broadcast at Christmas stars Olivia Coleman and Vanessa Redgrave and was filmed at Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire. Helen Walsh Signed with Tinder Press to publish her new novel The Lemon Grove, due out spring 2014. Walsh, previously published by Canongate, was represented in the deal by Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown. John Harvey The last book in the Charlie Resnick series has
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Aah Snoopy, you are so right… 3

Oh yes, Snoopy. I know how you feel.   ‘Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life’ ed by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz  [UK: Writer’s Digest Books] And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Handling rejections: advice for #writers from @Snoopy http://wp.me/p5gEM4-ql via @SandraDanby
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Great Opening Paragraph 34… ‘Lolita’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ by Kiran Desai ‘Notes on a Scandal’ by Zoe Heller ‘Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: An iconic 1st para which makes me want to read more: LOLITA by
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Flash fiction: Migraine, again*

Cochineal, crimson, carmine. Scarlet, vermilion, madder, magenta. Justine’s head was so full of red hot pain and every shade of red was there. Blood red, fresh and dried. Cherry Coke. London bus red. Chanel Rouge red. English postbox red. When she woke, she was sitting in the dark beside the studio window. Her headache was gone, her head felt tender and vulnerable as it always did after pain. Outside the London sky was dense black, the February clouds hiding the stars. Upstairs, Tinkerbell rang. © Sandra Danby If you like flash fiction, read these stories:- The Ten Questions Left or
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Book Review: Natural Flights of the Human Mind

I’ve been having something of a Clare Morrall fest, that thing you get when you discover an author and wish they’d written more. The worst thing is when you get that feeling but the author is dead and there’s nothing left to read. Natural Flights of the Human Mind is an original story about two outsiders who are brought together by circumstance and who, unknowingly, help each other to come to terms with their past. They are both scratchy characters, secretive, who do not invite gestures of friendship. Despite this, I liked both of them. Like all Morrall’s books, this
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Great opening paragraph 33… ‘The Sense of an Ending’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“I remember, in no particular order: – a shiny inner wrist; – steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; – gouts of sperm circling a plughole before being sluiced own the full length of a tall house; – a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams; – another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface; – bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t
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