Iraq

We_Need_New_Names

2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo #3

We_Need_New_NamesRating: 1
We Need New Names
A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo

2013 / 304 Pages

Kaka

We all have problems.  I get that.  As adults it’s much easier to get caught in the trap of complaining about any given hardship that we encounter or bump in the road that we might face than it is to work towards a realistic solution to whatever the source of our current woe might be.  We’re only human.  We often get stuck in endless cycles of bad behavior, unable to rescue ourselves for torments that are mostly of our own creation.  Sometimes we fail.  Other times we succeed.  Both the highs and the lows can be wild, emotional roller coasters.

(more…)

The_Kills

2013 Longlisted: The Kills by Richard House

The_KillsRating: 4.5
The Kills
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 913 Pages

Has anybody ever told you it’s not coming true

What could I possibly have left to write about Richard House’s Booker nominated conspiracy masterpiece that I haven’t written already?

This article exists less as a proper book review and more as a placeholder from which to link out to each of my previously published reviews of the four stand-alone novels – Sutler (book one), The Massive (book two), The Kill (book three), and The Hit (book four) – that combine to form The Kills.

The overall verdict: you should drop everything and read this novel. For more detailed explanations as to why, see each of the linked articles below.

(more…)

The_Massive

Know Your Booker!: Richard House’s The Massive (The Kills: Book Two)

The_MassiveSo you think you know everything there is to know about The Massive, the second book in Richard House’s Booker nominated novel The Kills? Test your knowledge against our GoodReads quiz here!

What’s it about?

The Massive is described by the book’s publisher Picador as follows:

Rem Gunnersen needs work. His wife needs a vacation. Cathy won’t get her vacation. Rem’s job will kill him.

Down on his luck and desperate for money, Rem Gunnersen accepts an unusual proposition: to lead a team of seven men to Camp Liberty. A remote military base in the Iraqi desert, it is the place where the detritus of war is incinerated, buried, removed from memory. For a long time the camp has been unmanned. Rem and his men have no idea why they need to be there. Then Stephen Lawrence Sutler arrives.

The Massive is book two of The Kills.

(more…)

The_Massive

2013 Longlisted: The Massive by Richard House

The_MassiveRating: 4
The Massive (The Kills: Book Two)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 311 Pages

I shoulda learned to play the guitar

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. The Massive is the second of these novels.

It would be bad enough if the only problem facing Rem Gunnersen with regards to his self-owned and operated business was that of financial ruin.  Yes, he’s drowning in debt.  Yes, he’s desperate for money.  Yes, he’s staring the very real possibility of bankruptcy in the face.  Problems of cash flow, difficult as they can be, are fixable in a multitude of ways.  Having to recover from any damage done to his professional reputation however is something that would prove to be a much more arduous task.  At the start of The Massive, Rem finds himself in the unenviable position of having to deal with both issues, one as a direct consequence of the other.

(more…)

Sutler

2013 Longlisted: Sutler by Richard House

SutlerRating: 4.5
Sutler (The Kills: Book One)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 302 Pages

Emotionally Devastating

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. Sutler is the first of these novels.

“Listen. There’s a problem and it can’t be solved. You need to disappear.”

Stringing together these thirteen simple words in a way that aches with urgency, Richard House launches into an alluring piece of political crime fiction that sidesteps the trappings of the genre tag placed on it and boldly defies classification. Some might argue that this particular “type” of novel doesn’t merit a spot on the Man Booker longlist. They’d be wrong.

(more…)

Sutler

Know Your Booker!: Richard House’s Sutler (The Kills: Book One)

SutlerSo you think you know everything there is to know about Sutler, the first book in Richard House’s Booker nominated novel The Kills? Test your knowledge against our GoodReads quiz here!

What’s it about?

Sutler is described by the book’s publisher Picador as follows:

The digital first publication of Sutler is the start of a groundbreaking collaboration between a writer and publisher.

Listen. There’s a problem and it can’t be solved. You need to disappear.

This is Stephen Lawrence Sutler’s last morning at Camp Liberty, Iraq. In two hours a massive explosion will conceal the theft of $53,000,000. Sutler, shaken by the blast and forced to go the run, is unaware that any money is missing or that he has been set up. His problems are just beginning.

Sutler is book one of The Kills.

(more…)