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The Strange Library - Haruki Murakami
3
The Strange Library - Haruki Murakami
Released: 02/12/2014 Harvill Secker
Much more stocking-filler appropriate than his recent tomes, this newly translated 96-page novella from the Japanese literary phenomenon is also illustrated. A young schoolboy must escape the library that lives up to the book’s title after being trapped with a man dressed as a sheep and a mute girl who communicates with her hands.
Rated 80 %
80%
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Richard Ford - Let me Be Frank With You
7
Richard Ford - Let me Be Frank With You
Released: 06/11/2014 Bloomsbury Publishing
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author returns to the character that made him famous in this new quartet of novellas. Now 67 years old and living in New Jersey, the witty, dynamic and frequently inappropriate Frank Bascombe attempts to interpret a world undone by natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina).
Rated 78 %
78%
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Jenny Erpenbeck - The End of Days
3
Jenny Erpenbeck - The End of Days
Released: 06/11/2014 Portobello Books Ltd
As a brilliant retelling of German and German-Jewish history, this ambitious piece of fiction has already garnered critical acclaim abroad. The award-winning author presents five stories – each leading to a different death for her female protagonist.
Rated 83
83%
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Will Self - Shark
4
Will Self - Shark
Released: 04/11/2014 Grove Press
Straight off the back of his declaration that we're all lazy, impatient and collectively responsible for killing the novel, the writer and social gadfly delivers a loose sequel to his grand, Joycean novel, Umbrella. As ever, psychopathology and technology are key themes in another panorama of 20th-century experience and consciousness. Question is: can anyone be bothered to read it?
Rated 87
87%
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Marilynne Robinson - Lila
4
Marilynne Robinson - Lila
Released: 02/10/2014 Virago
This US author produces few novels (this makes four) but they make their mark: her high profile awards include a Pulitzer and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her fourth book rounds off a trilogy set in a secluded Iowa town, meditating on small-town life and the bigger things: ‘This is an interesting planet,' says one character in the trilogy's first book, Gilead.
Rated 77 %
77%
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Hilary Mantel - The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
5
Hilary Mantel - The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
Released: 25/09/2014 Harper Collins
After her impossibly successful Tudor epics, Hilary Mantel presents a collection of shorts. The double Man Booker winner is on subversive form (some say too subversive), the horrifying and the mundane swimming expertly around on the same plane – part of her extensive appeal. Her muscles are flexed across subjects from vampires to warring nurses.
Rated 80 %
80%
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David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks
7
David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks
Released: 02/09/2014 Sceptre
The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas (whose film adaptation offered a departure for Hugh Grant, if nothing else) offers up another metaphysical thriller, tackling environmental ruination, mortality and ‘cults of predatory soul-decanters'. The story of a psychic runaway is told in several intersecting parts, beginning in 1984 and winding up in Ireland in 2044 with the world on the brink of collapse.
Rated 74 %
74%
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Ali Smith - How to be both
4
Ali Smith - How to be both
Released: 28/08/2014 Penguin
Ali Smith’s inclusion on this year’s Booker longlist (and subsequently installation as an early favourite for the outright prize) was no surprise given the superlative reviews for her last novel, 2011’s There but for the. How to be both's dual narrative follows a 1460s Renaissance artist and a 1960s schoolgirl, described as ‘surprising and enchanting’, by the impressed judges.
Rated 82
82%
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Margaret Atwood - Stone Mattress
6
Margaret Atwood - Stone Mattress
Released: 28/08/2014 Bloomsbury
Known for speculative fiction with bite (and wit) Canada’s literary grand dame publishes her first shorts collection in eight years. There is less of her recent emphasis on the future and the environment in these outlandish tales, but plenty of devious humour and musings on infidelity, aging and gender-guided ideologies.
Rated 81
81%
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Alan Warner - Their Lips Talk of Mischief
4
Alan Warner - Their Lips Talk of Mischief
Released: 21/08/2014 Faber
Two aspiring literary types live in a drab London council block, drink together and engage in love affairs with extremely attractive Irish girls. If you look past the blokey setup, there are shades of Withnail and I and flashes of brilliance in the new novel from Scotland's talented Warner, author of Morvern Callar (filmed by Lynne Ramsay).    
Rated 72 %
72%
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