Book Review

Author Reading: Kenneth McCloud – ‘The Incident’

The English Department of Royal Holloway, University of London hosts a number of events during the academic year which feature authors reading from and talking about their most recent novel. These ‘Lunch Time Readings’ are reasonably well attended by both English students and members of staff. Last year Sir Andrew Motion read from his novel ‘Silver’ to a crowded lecture theatre.

In November the guest author was Kenneth McCloud reading from his debut novel ‘The Incident’. This novel is interesting in that it is framed around one day in the life of a young lifeguard in Germany. Within this frame three interlinked stories are told: the lifeguard (present day, in the context of the novel), the grandfather and his World War Two experiences, and Gerd a refugee from the Cold War.

Review: Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

Red Country is the third of Abercrombie’s stand-alone books, after Best Served Cold and The Heroes. While all three books can be read in isolation they are based in the same world as The First Law trilogy and feature some well-loved characters.

Abercrombie draws, in part, on his experience as a film editor when writing and he has likened Best Served Cold to a gangster/revenge movie set in something like a Machiavellian renaissance Italy, and The Heroes to a big-picture war film like Waterloo or A Bridge Too Far. His new book, Red Country, with its air of ‘narrowed eyes’ and ‘clenched jaws’, is firmly set in the fantasy equivalent of a good western.

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