The best books of 2015

Title: The best books of 2015


Full Text & Source:

The Internet, Online, 3/11/2015

Sample Text:

10:04, Ben Lerner (Granta, 244pp)
Jonathan Beckman: “Despite its superficial ordinariness, 10:04 covertly transforms itself into science fiction […] It’s only the first week of January but I doubt I’ll read a finer novel this year.”

Curtain Call, Anthony Quinn (Jonathan Cape, 327pp)
Peter Stanford: “There’s never a dud scene, or a poorly drawn character. And scattered throughout Curtain Call are passages of lyricism that lodge in your memory.”

Weathering, Lucy Wood (Bloomsbury, 304pp)
Catherine Taylor: “[Wood] revisits the aquatic theme in her first novel, set by a river. Its roaring, turbulent presence forms the backdrop for a story about three generations of a family, meshed together using eldritch, other-worldly language.”

The Girl Who Wasn’t There, Ferdinand von Schirach (Little Brown, 224pp)
Christian House: “This is an effective riddle of a novel. Details accumulate, tensions build and misdirection abounds, while Anthea Bell’s crisp translation accentuates von Schirach’s cool, pointillist prose.”

Satin Island, Tom McCarthy (Jonanthan Cape, 192pp)
Duncan White: “Reading a McCarthy novel is like being in a McCarthy novel: everything is part of a fizzing network, the scope of which can never be fully apprehended.”

The Infidel Stain, MJ Carter (Fig Tree, 357pp)
Jake Kerridge: “An entertaining stew of blackmail, murder, cross-dressing and incomprehensible slang (‘if you’re to come with me dressed like that, you’ll be a walking magnet for every gonoph and rampsman’).”

The Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerney (John Murray, 384pp)
Elena Seymenliyska: “The Glorious Heresies is a spectacular debut by Lisa McInerney. Tough and tender, gothic and lyrical, it is a head-spinning, stomach-churning state-of-the-nation novel about a nation falling apart.”

At Hawthorn Time, Melissa Harrison (Bloomsbury, 288pp)
Christian House: “Melissa Harrison … is a nature novelist, and her second book, At Hawthorn Time, shows off a bracing talent in the tradition of Thomas Hardy, J L Carr and Henry Williamson. This is The Archers with bite, in which a farmer’s livelihood is a tightrope-walk under which lies debt, divorce and dispersal sales.”

A God In Ruins, Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, 400pp)
James Walton: “A God in Ruins ends with one of the most devastating twists in recent fiction – one I definitely can’t reveal but which is, as Atkinson’s afterword acknowledges, ‘the whole raison d’être of the novel’. In the circumstances, about all I can say (apart from urging you not to try to guess it) is that it adds a further level of overwhelming poignancy to an already extraordinarily affecting book.”

The Green Road, Anne Enwright (Jonathan Cape, 320pp)
Anthony Cummins: “Enright’s gifts of observation and imagination can lull you into overlooking how radical she is formally. She has said that “the unknowability of one human being to another” is “an endless subject for novelists”. If one of the pitfalls for any realist novel is the sense that the characters are reverse-engineered to serve an authorial design, Enright’s characters have a solidity for not being explained to every last fibre of their being.”

When the Doves Disappeared, Sofi Oksanen, tr by Lola Rogers (Atlantic, 296pp)
Ian Thomson: “In this fast-paced historical novel, Oksanen explores Estonia’s terrible wartime history of mass human displacement, occupation and collaboration.”

Seiobo There Below, László Krasznahorkai, tr by Ottilie Mulzet (Tuskar Rock, 464pp)
Tim Martin: “It’s not quite fair to call Seiobo a novel; nor is it exactly a collection of short stories. Each piece concentrates on human relationships to the world through the creation or reception of art. Moments of minute enlightenment stud the book, often acquiring a kind of hallucinatory twist.”

Best non-fiction of 2015

The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us, Nicholas Carr (Bodley Head, 261pp)
John Preston: “What exactly has automation done for us? Has it freed people from drudgery and made them happier? Or has it, as Nicholas Carr wonders in this elegantly persuasive book, had the opposite effect, transforming us into passive zombies, helplessly reliant on machines to tell us what to do?”

The Italians, John Hooper (Allen Lane, 336pp)
Christian House: “Having already skewered the culture and mores of the Spanish in The New Spaniards, the author has found in Italy a puzzle of incompatible pieces. What he discovers is that a lot of our preconceptions about the Italians – the corruption, crime and conflicted Catholicism – are accurate. As is their famous lust for life. But, like much in Italy, if you scratch the surface, other “verità” appear.”

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About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

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