By Ralph McAllister
Last minute suggestions if you don’t trust my recommendations for book of the year. (Scroll down to December 20 for Ralph’s selection.)
~ Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
~ Elmet by Fiona Mozley
~ The Passage of Love by Alex Miller
~ The Eye of the Sheep by Sophie Laguna
~ Slow Horses by Mick Herron
I shall review these early next year but all are worthy of your attention.
Watch out for the film of Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name, being released on Boxing Day and already given rave reviews.
A classic from Philip Pullman
Meanwhile …… for young adults of any age …….
The Book of the Dust by Philip Pullman
If you are old enough or young enough you will remember Pullman’s His Dark Materials, published over 20 years ago, a gothic trilogy of Lyra and strange creatures and people hell bent on destroying her and her beliefs.
Now we have the first of his new trilogy La Belle Sauvage which takes us back to Lyra’s birth and young heroic Malcolm and not so heroic kitchen maid Alice who are thrust into saving Lyra, the baby.
Modern Oxford is flooded in biblical style as evil pursues the youngsters as they escape in Malcolm ‘s boat La Belle Sauvage and try to reach Lyra’s father who may or may not be in London.
An epic adventure story
An adventure story of epic proportions with daemons who perch on each character’s shoulders and influence the actions, while changing shapes as the challenges emerge.
Part of His Dark Materials was filmed ten years ago and reached filmgoers with the title The Golden Compass.
I cannot recommend this pilgrims’ allegory too highly.
Literature of the highest order showing Pullman in complete command of his powers, fearless at portraying violence, passionate about his abhorrence of religion in all forms, and yet again ,refusing to patronise his readers young and old.
I have already “lost” two copies of this six hundred page masterpiece!