Literature is full of ‘doubles’: characters who seem to move in tandem; or twins, whose familial bond and similarities are frequently employed for farcical effect. In Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, for example, the sense of a clear identity becomes a tangled mess as Viola, in disguise as a boy called Cesario, falls in love with Duke Orsino, who loves Olivia; Viola has to deliver Orsino’s love letters to Olivia, who quickly falls in love with her as Cesario. Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother who she thought had died, enters on stage, and Olivia is soon smitten with him.
Where was I?
Continue reading Legoland by Gerard Woodward
The High Mountains of Portugal is comprised of three stories whose connection become clear throughout the book: the first, and strongest in my opinion, features Tomás in 1904 who discovers a journal, untouched since it was written by a Father Ulisses in the mid-seventeenth century, which details an object that he has made. Tomás makes it his mission to find the object. It chronicles his journey (in one of the very first Renault cars) through the high mountains of Portugal.
Continue reading The High Mountains of Portugal
Pietro is our protagonist who has recently taken a job as the concierge in a condominium in Milan, late in life. Although defining his character as merely a ‘concierge’ perhaps simplifies his role. He eagerly integrates into the occupants’ colourful lives in the flat: Poppi, (an aptly plosive) teasing and rambunctious lawyer; Paola and her autistic 20-something year old son Fernando. And, of particular interest, the Martini family: Luca, a doctor, his wife Viola and their small child Sara. In his capacity as concierge he has free reign to roam the corridors… and cross thresholds.
Continue reading The Sense of an Elephant – Review