Book reviews roundup: London Lies Beneath; The Invention of Angela Carter; A Day in a Life of a Brain
November 4, 2016 - Finding Carter
Reviewers were struck by a characterisation in London Lies Beneath, a novel formed on a genuine eventuality in 1912. “Stella Duffy’s skilful novel tells a story of a organisation of child scouts who drown on a camping speed down a River Thames,” wrote Max Davidson in a Mail on Sunday. “Duffy, yet over-egging a pudding, wrings each unit of pathos from their story. Her feeling for working-class London during a many quick … shines by a book.” Francesca Angelini in a Sunday Times was reduction convinced, arguing that “Duffy does small to heed a people who, never angry yet always striving, morph into prosaic caricatures … Her characters feel delegate to a backdrop, yet even a city struggles to come to life by a thick connect of romanticised beliefs overlaying it.” But other reviewers were fans, with a Sunday Mirror’s Deirdre O’Brien tender by “hauntingly pleasing prose” and a Financial Times’s Laura Garmeson anticipating a essay “as unenlightened and transparent as a city itself … Sprawling and unruly, yet full of heart, Duffy’s new novel is a wise strain to a city that desirous it.”
Powerful poetry is distinguished in Edmund Gordon’s The Invention of Angela Carter, published 24 years after Carter’s genocide and creation full use of her journals and correspondence. Reviewers praised it as a consummate and supportive job. Gordon is “attuned to Carter’s wit”, found Gaby Wood in a Daily Telegraph, and “the sum he picks out advise he has learnt how to see a universe her way”. Some found a structure disappointingly conventional, with a Observer’s Rachel Cooke observant it left “little room for a subject’s iconoclasm, for a egghead wildness that colours each line she ever wrote”, and a Literary Review’s Lucy Hughes-Hallett calling it “just one damn thing after another … Its substance, though, glints with well-placed fact and smart aperçus, and it pays correct courtesy to what matters most, Angela Carter’s writing.” She epitomised that it is “the many profitable kind of literary autobiography – a kind that sends we behind to a subject’s work”.
Gordon was means to get into his subject’s head, yet Susan Greenfield attempts to get into alertness itself in her new book, A Day in a Life of a Brain. “Thankfully, after a series of books in that Greenfield claimed – yet any convincing justification – that a technologies were changing tellurian smarts for a worse, she is behind in a area of normal, experimental science,” wrote Anil Ananthaswamy in a New Scientist. “Her new book, while flawed, is a transparent alleviation on a predecessors … Her essay is clear, sharp, abandoned of formidable lingo and chatty. The brain’s complexity comes opposite vividly, and a achievements are a marvel.” Barbara Kiser in Nature repository explained: “Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield investigates alertness from waking to sleeping, sketch on her possess investigate … and that of innumerable other scientists”, and called a outcome “an illuminating, fascinating tour into (and beyond) a biology of time, a synergism of walking and cognition, and a phylogeny of dreams”. As a intelligent layman on a case, a Sunday Times’s John Carey advised: “Greenfield aims her book during a ‘general reader’, yet hers is a tough theme and this is a tough read. Persevere and we will be rewarded with a transparent glance into a brainstretching problem of creation advances in mind research.”