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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (16)

  1. Olga, your commentary was fascinating. But they lost me with the initial description of heartbreaking. I admit my failing — I want to be entertained and made happy, not broken. 🙂
    I still enjoyed the review. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, Teagan. The novel is a bit like life itself. There are sad and happy moments although we don’t participate fully (we oversee. It made me think of the work of a British sculptor called Anthony Gormley and his work called ‘Field’ (there were several versions of it but it is a fascinating project. I saw it at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool and it’s a very strange sensation to be looking down on all those tiny little people… http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/exhibition/antony-gormley-field)
      Have a good Thursday.

  2. Wendy Janes says:

    Great review, Olga. I think I’m going to be in for a treat! As a rule I tend to steer clear of things like head hopping and experimental techniques, but there’s something about Jon McGregor’s writing that absolutely works for me. I adored his first two books.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I’ve missed his previous two novels but there is something very compelling about his style of writing (it makes me think of meditation) and it is beautifully observed. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Sometimes, such novels can not only have an impact at the time, but can be looked at later as a moment when conventional style and content changed, and took literature down a different path. This often happens with films, so your comparison with Malick is very apt. However, I am not sure that I am ready for such style in a book myself. I am not a fan of stories with no conclusion, anymore than films with no satisfactory ending. Life does not always have a defined story, I agree. But it always ends, whether we like it or not. I have always felt that good literature should entertain to some degree, as well as educate and inform. A large part of any good novel is up to the imagination of the reader, so some interpretation must be left open of course. But books written for the writer to display his or her style or talent always face the danger of becoming too personal, or self-indulgent. So, I am on the fence with this one, Olga.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I see your point and don’t disagree. I guess there are different kinds of readers and of reading experiences (and even moments. I love fiction and stories but sometimes I enjoy other kinds of books. Of course, there is an end to life, at least depending on what one believes in, but it does not leave all the strands tied up and everything explained that is what most readers, I included, want). There is something to be said for books that are different even if that might mean that they will never get tonnes of readers. This is not a crowd pleaser for sure, but not all books are.

      1. Very true, Olga.

        1. Thanks and let’s hope Friday is better.

    2. I’m rather of the same mind as you, Pete, especially as I still have a problem with another style-changer by the name of Woolf! But as Teagan says, your reviews are never less than interesting.

      1. Thanks, Sarah. Thankfully, we cannot complain of lack of choice, although sometimes it is good to explore what people are trying. And he writes very well, that is true.

  4. You have managed to find another fascinating book written in a very interesting style, Olga. Great review.

    1. Thanks, Robbie. In most cases the books find me. Enjoy your day.

  5. Fascinating. It sounds like this book does everything we are told should not be done in a novel, although I presume this is considered literary, which I understand is more about form and style than content.
    I have to say it isn’t my type of read, I like a story with a resolution – a traditional novel.
    Thanks for the review, always helpful to know what not to try, as well as what to rush out and buy.

    1. Thanks, Deborah. Yes, indeed. I try and be as detailed as possible because I know that taste is very individual and the reason I dislike a novel or a book might be the reason why somebody else loves it. He writes very well, for sure. I think part of the problem might be that people kept expecting to know what had happened to the girl, expecting it to be a thriller and is nothing of the sort.

      1. I could cope with it not being a thriller, but not with it having no real resolution – I would feel as annoyed as I do when I find a cliff hanger at the end after I’ve invested time in what I expect to be a satisfying story.
        I can understand if a reader enjoys just reading for the sake of appreciating the writing, but that is definitely not me!

        1. Good to know!

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