Author Advent 5: John Baker

"My favourite book of 2009 was Eleven Kinds of Loneliness by Richard Yates. Yates' gives us exactly that, eleven stories, each of them dealing with the loneliness of an individual. The self-destructive Vincent Sabella, who had spent most of his life in some kind of orphanage. Sergeant Reece, the tyrannical Tennessean soldier who insists on doing his job. And Bob Prentice, the mediocre writer who sees himself as Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott-Fitzgerald, but who in reality is not much good at anything. Each of the stories in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is a gem, giving us insight into the emptiness of our own lives and people close to us and those we love. Richard Yates spares us nothing. He is a brave and truthful writer and in order to stay with him as a reader, you have to be prepared for the worst. (There is a fuller review on my blog here.) "

John Baker
Winged with Death

Each day until December 24th an author featured at TVFH over the last few years tells us of their favourite read of 2009 in our Author Advent. You'll have to provide your own chocolates and there's no little door to open, but you could try placing your hand over your eyes and then removing it again. Authors include the likes of Julian Barnes, Iain Banks, Paul Torday, Patrick Gale and Marina Lewycka. And for those of you who like lists, we'll list them all on December 29th.

Photo credit boxes: Ali Edwards

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