Scrabbling by Sophie Hampton


I am eight and twenty-eight and a hundred to one. A hundred to one is an odds. Odds are how likely something is to happen. Different to odd. 

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What is Reflected by Susan Rukeyser

There’s a secret in there.

In fact, there are several. Each wrapped in plastic and stacked inside the commercial freezer humming against the far wall. It’s an old, horizontal model, the kind with a glass top. Printed across the front: Freezing in the Goodness.

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Go On, My Son by Dan Micklethwaite

All the shitty ghosts come here. The miscreants, the losers, the ne’er-do-well-enoughs. The poor sods who were has-beens even before they passed away. 
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Entertaining Strangers - A Review

Entertaining Strangers
By Jonathan Taylor
Published by Salt Publishing
Reviewed by Jessica Patient

I know that it’s still quite early in the year for declaring contenders for best book of year but I don’t care. Entertaining Strangers by Jonathan Taylor is my favourite of the year so far.

The year is 1997 and change is on the way not only in the world – the Labour Party wins the election, the death of Princess Diana but also change for our characters. Jules, our narrator goes from being homeless to holding a glass of Vermouth in his hand, listening to Edwin lecture on the virtues of ants in a matter of pages within a matter of minutes. Edwin is an intellectual man who has no job, his wife has left him and has a casual affair with his landlady as a way of paying his rent. His benefit money goes on wine and ants.

“I’d sat down for a minute on a dog-piss-soaked doorstep in a dog-piss street in a dog-piss town, when the door I was leaning against gave behind me.”