Two Gothic Novels – Old & New

Château D’Argol by Julien Gracq, translated from French by Louise Varèse Publisher: Pushkin Press, London (2013) ISBN: 978 1 78227 004 1 The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero Publisher: Doubleday, New York (2014) ISBN:  978 0 38553 815 2 Like real estate, a Gothic novel is all about location, location, location.  Whether it be a Southern Manse, a moldering European castle or a gloomy family … Continue reading Two Gothic Novels – Old & New

The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company, translated from Catalan by Laura McGloughlin

Dr. Matthew Prendel is an enigma.  Attractive, quiet, independently wealthy – he is the perennial subject of cocktail party gossip.  The most persistent rumor being that he was once shipwrecked on a deserted island.  We’re told Prendel’s tale, the “true” version of what happened to him, from his lover.  The conceit of the novel is that she,  Phoebe Westore, is the author, not Flavia.  The book … Continue reading The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company, translated from Catalan by Laura McGloughlin

a thousand morons by Quim Monzó (translated from the original Catalan by Peter Bush)

Pierre Charles L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott carefully planned Washington DC – with its precise grid of streets, beautiful tree-lined avenues and stunning perspectives. Older cities like Boston or lower Manhattan developed more organically, the seemingly haphazard  pattern of their streets dictated by the habits of those who used them. A good short story collection can grow like a city. Either organically – as when an … Continue reading a thousand morons by Quim Monzó (translated from the original Catalan by Peter Bush)

Guadalajara by Quim Monzó (translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush)

Quim Monzó’s  (a Catalan author)  book, Guadalajara, contains 14 short stories – divided into five parts and grouped according to common themes. Unusual care seems to have been taken in considering the order they are arranged in.  It’s a stunning collection – and one of my favorite books of 2011. The comparisons that immediately come to mind are Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths or Italo Calvino’s … Continue reading Guadalajara by Quim Monzó (translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush)