Author Archives: Jenny

The Outsider

Does anyone remember that in 2002, Stephen King announced his retirement? Let’s just pause to think about that for a second. Even if you assume that From a Buick 8 and the Dark Tower books were already in the pipeline … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | Leave a comment

Thus Bad Begins

I was at the library a couple of weeks ago and ran across this book — and a few others — by Javier Marías. “Spain’s premier novelist,” it said, and I discovered that he’s written about seventeen novels, only one … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 8 Comments

Version Control

This is a book of science fiction unlike pretty much any other I’ve read. The science fiction piece revolves around a causality violation device (it’s not a time machine!) and about the consequences of using it or not using it, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

Death in Ecstasy

This is the fourth of Ngaio Marsh’s detective novels starring DI Roderick Alleyn, the smooth, nobly-born, well-educated man who actually works for the police force rather than being a private detective who generously contributes his services. I have to say … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 1 Comment

Signs of Life

Ten years ago, in her twenties, Rachel was in a long-term relationship: “no ruptures, no wrinkles, we were happy.” Then she had an affair with a man at work, someone rougher and more dangerous than her boyfriend Johnny, and it … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

Poor Miss Finch

As you all may be aware, I am a big Wilkie Collins fan. In my view, there’s nothing more fun, or more satisfying for summer reading, than a big old sensationalist Victorian novel — and the more sensationalist the better. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments


Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke the next morning with a headache, put his hands to his temples, and felt something unfamiliar, a pair of knotty, pointed protuberances. And there you have most … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

So Many Ways to Begin

The first, brief chapter of Jon McGregor’s So Many Ways to Begin tells the story of a young Irish girl who travels to England during the 1940s for work. She goes into service in a large household, learning to make … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

Mary Barton

Mary Barton is Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel. It takes place in the industrial town of Manchester, and (like North and South) it is full of industrial concerns: factories, foundries, trade unions, strikes, wages, masters and men, and the inevitable conflict. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 2 Comments

Narrative of Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was born a slave named Isabella in — or around, there weren’t records kept — 1797, in Ulster County, New York. She was owned by a Dutch family until she was nine, and when she was sold to … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 9 Comments