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Historical Fiction

The Emperor’s Gold by Robert Wilton

The Emperor's Gold by Robert WiltonCorvus Books (an imprint of Atlantic Books) are starting to become a bit of a happy hunting ground for me in finding emerging talent in the crime and historical fiction genres to review. I was therefore more than a little fascinated by the sound of a debut novel called The Emperor’s Gold by Robert Wilton; this was not only because of my rapidly growing interest in well written historical fiction, but also due in no small part to Mr. Wilton’s packed c.v.

I won’t go into more detail here as I’m hoping to save that for a featured author post in the near future (#edit – which you can now read here), but suffice to say degrees in history from Oxford and London Universities and a career in the Ministry of Defence certainly appeared to give him all the right credentials.

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The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assasin by Margaret AtwoodI actually received my copy of The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood as a prize in a competition being run by Foyles bookshop for World Book Night earlier this year. As the prize could have been any one of the twenty five titles being promoted I was doubly pleased when the package landed on the doormat and it was by a writer that I hadn’t previously read.

So how did I get on with this Booker Prize Winner from the year 2000?

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Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in AmericaBefore you read my review of Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America, I might as well hold up my hands and admit that I am probably not the most impartial reviewer. I’ve loved Carey’s writing for years, to the extent that he is probably my favourite living author.

Some of his novels have certainly fallen short of the very high standards he set himself with Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda and The True History of the Kelly Gang, but there is something about his style that always keeps me coming back for more even after some of his less than brilliant work.

Parrot and Olivier in America, I had high hopes for as it achieved a place on the 2010 Man Booker Shortlist, and it finally came to the top of my reading list last month. So did it live up to my expectations?

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Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Angle of Repose by Wallace StegnerAfter being introduced to the late Wallace Stegner’s work last year with his 1987 novel Crossing to Safety, I was immensely looking forward to delving into my next selection from his books – Angle of Repose. This is arguably Stegner’s most widely acclaimed novel, and it earned him the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. They are obviously two very different novels, but having enjoyed Crossing to Safety so much, could Angle of Repose possibly meet my high expectations?

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