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Observer Fiction to look out for in 2017
The Irish Times What To Look Out for in 2017 from Independent Publishers
Jen Campbell’s ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2017’
Jean Bookish Thoughts ‘Most Anticipated Releases of 2017’
A dark social-realist fairytale, spotlighting the shadowy underside of 1920s England
An orphan is travelling through the deep, dark woods and discovers that the monsters she encounters are as much tragic as wicked and that the handsome young prince may be ugly inside. The world around her is callous, unjust and horribly scarred by the past. But she brings compassion and even a glimmer of hope.
The Scarecrow and other characters appear almost familiar, bearing their names from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, yet here are the loved and the damaged, dark forests and darker histories, and the ever-present risks of discovery and violent retribution – Xan Brooks’ stunning debut is heartbreaking, disturbing and redemptive.
‘The assurance and skill with which Xan Brooks tells his tale in The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times makes it difficult to believe that this is a first novel. By turns funny and tragic, awful and lovely, terrifying and warming, it’s a book told with rare elegance and narrative zest. The post-Great War England the novel depicts is a land of exhausted decay and weird encounters, filled with fake spiritualists, war heroes turned into monsters, and repulsive aristocrats. Its twisted humour and dark satire reminded me above all of Graham Greene, and that is not a comparison one makes lightly. I absolutely loved it.’ —Lloyd Shepherd
‘Observer Fiction to look out for in 2017 The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times (Salt) by Xan Brooks – a fairytale wrapped within a historical novel, it’s as quixotic and dreamlike as Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant.’ —Alex Preston, Observer
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SynopsisThe nation’s favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its seventh year.Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately,...
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Synopsis 1985, Edinburgh. Thatcher’s policies are biting deep – fat cats and street-kids, lovers, losers and the rest struggle to survive. Hume sets up a business catering for the rich...
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Synopsis A double murder is discovered in Spalding some days after it takes place. The victims are Tina Brackenbury, the foster mother of Grace Winter, a ten-year-old who escapes the...