Tag Archives: historical fiction

Real People in Historical Fiction

The Mask of Apollo, by Mary Renault: I’ve read and enjoyed books by Renault before, so reading The Mask of Apollo felt very much like sinking back into a comfortable armchair: Renault’s style and voice were both familiar to me. I have to say though that The Mask of Apollo now probably ranks as my [...]

Samuel Beckett, David Shenk, Jostein Gaarder (trans. Anne Born), Martin Palmer, P.G. Wodehouse

Endgame and Act Without Words, by Samuel Beckett: I went to see the Cutting Ball Theater production of Endgame in San Francisco with Steve, who later lent me his copy of the play since I hadn’t read it prior to the performance. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I read the [...]

Dorothy Dunnett

A Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett: I picked up Dorothy Dunnett on Cat’s recommendation. A Game of Kings is the first book in her famous Lymond series, featuring the Scottish aristocrat, Francis Crawford of Lymond, the Master of Culter. The book felt bewildering at first because Dunnett drops us into the [...]

Umberto Eco (trans. William Weaver), J.K. Rowling, David Foster Wallace

I’ve been dragging my feet on posting here for nearly a year now because I haven’t had the time to face down the immense backlog of books, and I have this irrational compulsion to review books in chronological order. Sometimes I think my life would be a lot simpler if I weren’t so neurotic. [...]

Helen Fielding, Arturo Pérez-Reverte (trans. Sonia Soto), Stendhal (trans. Richard Howard), Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer, Kate Ross, Diana Wynne Jones

The following books were read from January to March 2006.
Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding: I’ve seen Bridget Jones referenced obliquely so many times—in magazine articles, in the Very Secret Diaries, in passing conversations—that reading the actual book was somewhat of an anticlimax. I suppose it also didn’t help that I had watched the movie [...]

Robert Graves, Orson Scott Card, Anne Bishop, Steven Brust, Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer, Jean Webster, Dorothy L. Sayers

I finished these books last month. My reactions have muted with time, so I’ll try to note down quickly my most memorable impressions.
Claudius the God, by Robert Graves: I’ve been meaning to read Claudius the God ever since I finished I, Claudius two years ago, and finally I’ve gotten around to borrowing it from Lamont. [...]

Mary Renault

The King Must Die, by Mary Renault: Reading Mary Renault always tempts me to become a classics or history concentrator. Mostly because it reminds me of the whole glamour of research: to be able to extrapolate an entire world from the fragments collected from crumbling, forgotten books and texts sitting neatly lined up on shelves [...]