Posted in August 2013

Prester John by John Buchan (1910)

Review by Mary P: As a boy the hero and narrator of the novel, David Crawfurd, sees a black man, the Reverend John Laputa, preach at his local kirk. When later David goes to South Africa to take up work as an  storekeeper he meets this same preacher on the boat, as well as a … Continue reading

The Shapes of Sleep by J. B. Priestley (1962)

Review by David R: Ben Sterndale, a freelance journalist, is offered a commission by a friend. The boss of the advertising agency where the friend works has lost, or had stolen a sheet of paper. This paper was covered in figures, but no-one knew what they meant. Sterndale establishes who visited the boss’s office, and … Continue reading

Paths of Judgment by Anne Douglas Sedgwick (1904)

Hurrah! Another review of an Anne Douglas Sedgwick novel! Her novels stimulated a heated debate at our reading group; some felt she was simply sub-standard Henry James or Edith Wharton and not worth reading – others firmly disagreed. I suspect that the book I read, Tante, was the best of the bunch. Review by Thecla … Continue reading

Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley (1930)

Review by Mary P: The novel is set in an office in 1920s London located on Angel Pavement. The business – Twigg and Dersingham – deals in veneers and inlays and is struggling in the Depression. Along comes a mysterious outsider who offers his services to Mr Dersingham as an agent to import goods from … Continue reading

Martha in Paris by Margery Sharp (1962)

This is the the sequel to Margery Sharp’s 1957 novel The Eye of Love. Review by Mary P: Martha, an orphan, living with her aunt and uncle is taken under the wing of Mr Joyce, a rich furrier. He employs her uncle and gives her an allowance. When she is 18 he decides, as she … Continue reading

Seven Against Reeves by Richard Aldington (1938)

Review by George Simmers (see his Great War Fiction blog here). Seven Against Reeves is quite an interesting novel, in that it is a book by a highbrow with a middlebrow hero, and it very strongly upholds middlebrow – or indeed Philistine – values.  The book is a lively satire on artistic pretentiousness. When John Reeves retires … Continue reading

The Eye of Love by Margery Sharp (1957)

Review by Sylvia D: The Eye of Love is a charming tale – just right for reading on your hotel balcony overlooking glorious Lake Como!   The characterisation is delightful, the touch very light and the narrative sprinkled with wry humour. One can just picture fifty-something Harry Gibson, rather stout and balding, hurrying down the street in his … Continue reading

The Magicians by J. B. Priestley (1954)

Review by David R: The story opens with Sir Charles Ravenstreet being ousted from the board of a company he helped build. Looking for a new direction, he is introduced to Sir Edwin Karney, right-hand man of Lord Mervil, who is looking for investors in a new drug. This drug is a sort of “happy … Continue reading