A propos de moi
TURBULENCE by David Szalay (Cape £9.99, 144 pp)
by David Szalay (Cape £9.99, 144 pp)
Reading David Szalay is like receiving a series of electric shocks: his preference for short, sharp sketches, rather than a single, linear plot, means that his books deny the reader the comforts of conventional, 웹소설 추천 more languid storytelling.
His last novel, All That Man Is, used nine mini-stories about various men in crisis to riff on modern masculinity, with brutal perspicacity.
He fine-tunes that technique here, with 12 deftly wrought scenarios featuring 12 people across the world in moments of high tension.
Like a turbo-charged daisy chain, an international flight taken in each story is the link that carries the reader from one scene to the next, connecting each character through a global web of casual encounters.
But, if flight is the way people tend to leave, mortality is the shadow they cannot escape — be it the mother whose son is dying of prostate cancer or the Dakar businessman who, on being driven home, slowly understands that something dreadful has happened to his family.
Szalay's stories may be over in just a matter of minutes, but they are violently, appallingly immersive.
HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL by Joyce Carol Oates (4th Estate £16.99, 336 pp)
HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL
by Joyce Carol Oates (4th Estate £16.99, 336 pp)
Joyce Carol Oates dispatches novels at such a rate that you wonder if she ever has time to read a newspaper.
Yet such is her unerring ability to reflect the times in which we live that one can only conclude this mighty American writer simply never sleeps.
Here, she taps deep into contemporary anxieties over the rise of surveillance, totalitarian governments and invasive technology through the story of Adriane, a precocious teenager in a future America, who is arrested following a subversive high school speech.
Her punishment is to be teleported back to 1959, where she must live among students of an intellectually conservative college.
There, she studies behavioural psychology under the tutelage of Ira Wolfman, a man she soon suspects might be a fellow transgressor in exile.
Adriane, 웹소설 추천 crippled by loneliness, is an easy protagonist for whom to root. But such is the slippery cleverness of this novel that one is increasingly unclear if the dystopias in which she lives are real, virtual or something else.
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THE KINSHIP OF SECRETS by Eugenia Kim (Bloomsbury £14.99, 304 pp)
THE KINSHIP OF SECRETS
by Eugenia Kim (Bloomsbury £14.99, 304 pp)
Themes of displacement, identity and the bonding power of family resonate throughout this ambitious and loosely autobiographical novel from Korean-American writer Eugenia Kim.
Inja is barely a year old when, in 1948, her parents leave her in the care of her uncle and aunt in Korea to set up a Christian mission in Washington, taking Inja's older sister, Miran, with them.
Then war breaks out on the Korean peninsular — making it impossible for 웹소설 추천 her parents to return.
As Inja grows up, her distant family in America, who send her parcels, take the shape of a phantom parallel existence she knows she will one day be forced to make her own.
Kim tracks the lives of both sisters, each trapped between conflicting cultural identities, but Inja is the emotional focus, and the unhappy scenes when she arrives in America are the most arresting.
But, elsewhere, Kim allows her recounting of post-war Korean and American history to overwhelm her story.
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