Here follows part 2 of the Books I bought at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
How the Dead Live by Will Self (one of the few books I haven’t read by Will Self)
Scabrous, vicious and unpleasant in life, Lily Bloom has not been improved by death. She has chnaged addresses, of course, and now inhabits a basement flat in Dulston – London’s borough for those no longer troubled by breathing – but if anything her temperament has worsened. Finding it hard to deal with the (enforced) company of a calcified, pop-obsessed foetus, her dead, foul-mouthed son and three gruesome creatures made of her won unwanted fat, she must find something to do with her time. So how do the dead live? And what happens when they stop being dead?
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (A book that has been on my wishlist for a while)
The final curtain is closing on the Second World War, and Hana, a nurse, stays behind in an abandoned Italian villa to tend to her only remaining patient. Rescued by Bedouins from a burning recognition and haunted by his memories of passion and betrayal. The only clue Hana has to his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire – a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes describing a painful and ultimately tragic love affair.
Pilcrow by Adam Mars-Jones (This novel sounds really interesting)
Time passed slowly in the 1950s, especially if you’d been put to bed and told not to move (until further notice). But John Cromer, the central character of his extraordinary novel, is much closer to being an explorer than a victim. He’s the weakest hero in fiction – unless he’s one of the strongest.
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch (The cover of this book really caught my eye)
1857. Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London’s East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Plucked from the jaws of death by Mr Jamrach – explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world’s starngest creatures – the two strike up a friendship.
Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies, on an unusual commission for Mr Jamrach. His journey – if he survives it- will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff (the only book by Tobias Wolff that I have not read)
Our story begins combines twenty-one of Tobias Wolff’s classic stories with ten potent new works, spanning three decades and confirming Wolff’s status as a master of the genre. These stories of war, mortality, frustration, loneliness and love trace a path through the everyday and the extraordinary, shedding a poignant yet hopeful light on American life and the intricate truth of human nature.
A man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. To the horror of a team of hunters, it emerges that the attacks are not random; the tiger is engaged in vendetta.
Injured and starving, it must be found before it strikes again, and the story becomes a battle for survival between two main characters: Yuri Trush, the lead tracker, and the tiger itself.
July 1964. At home in Kent Winston Churchill wakes to a visitor: someone he hasn’t seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him.
It’s Mr Chartwell.
In Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, answers the door to her lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette.
It’s Mr Chartwell.
Mr Chartwell is a large, black dog.
He is charismatic and dangerously, but as their lives are slowly drawn together, can Esther and Winston withstand his strange, powerful charms and strong hold? For Mr Chartwell’s motives are far darker and deeper than they seem.
Dark Waters by Caro Ramsay
They call him Mr Click….
A bitterly cold February in Glasgow. Hanging from a rope in the attic of a deserted tenement is the body of a criminal who has been hiding out on the Costa de Sol these last ten years. His face has been hideously disfigured.
Investigating officers DI Anderson and DS Costello believe the dead man to be a suspect in a decade-old case: the rape and attempted murder of a young student by two men. And there are other, similar cases on file.
But what has happened to the dead man’s accomplice, ‘Mr Click’?
Then, with the discovery of another young woman who has been brutally attacked, detectives Anderson and Costello realize that this terrifying psychopath has started working once more. They must use every trick in the book to stop him.
For Mr Click has developed a taste for killing his lust he will kill again and again…
The one and only Sherlock Holmes is sensationally back from the dead, and devoting his life once more to examining the criminal complexities of the capital. Cases of mysterious codes, persecuted millionaires, stalkers, abductions and a meeting with ‘the worst man in London’ are all attacked with renewed vigour. But Holmes’ old enemies are watching his every move. Watching, waiting, plotting……
Part 3 will follow soon