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Elizabeth Taube is a chubby, unpretty teenager who falls in love with everyone- her piano teacher, the old man who takes her into the back of his store and dresses her in furs, and her smart, charismatic, beaten-down teacher, Max Stone.
Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky is the ultimate novel about pubs- the places where many of us spend our twenties, watching people come and go.
You may never have heard of Café Gratitude in San Francisco.
An ex-journalist and social worker, Bernard Hare returns home to the East End of Leeds where he encounters Urban Grimshaw, a pre-pubescent glue-sniffing lad, and his group of friends who have dropped out of society and mainly live in a shed.
Philip Larkin once wrote, ‘Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home, strangeness made sense.’ When I read this book, I was travelling on business, something I was used to doing. I was also dealing with grief.
Graphic novels often have a way of getting across human pain and loneliness that can’t be replicated in quite the same way without visual accompaniment.
Keynes’s humanity is palpable, despite the superficially dry subject matter. His fundamental appeal is that we understand ourselves better.
A story about dictatorship, in this case one which occurs within the family, and a young boy so entirely in the power of his father that he cannot speak the truth.
This is not really a film at all, or a book. It’s a video game. Video games are a form of escapism and fantasy. This is no exception. It is set in an unspecified future during an inter-galactic war. There are all the clichéd humanoid alien characters typical of the genre.
Kundera is often accused of misogyny, and this may be true of his (or his characters’) sexual fantasies. But when I first read this as teenager I was primarily moved by his female characters. In particular, he conveys the profound human sadness caused by infidelity and betrayal.