When I saw Robert Graves’ They Hanged My Saintly Billy and realized that it was a novel about William Palmer case, I leapt at the chance to read it.
The novel uses its single sentence in a way that makes it an accessible and compelling read. It goes to show that it’s important to see beyond the quirks and give even the weirdest sounding books a chance.
I think it’s probably immediately obvious why this play is controversial. It’s a bold statement about the actions (or, more accurately, lack of action) of an institution that would rather forget everything around the time period.
Rumpole of the Bailey contains a critique not just of the British legal system, but also of society in the late 1970s, and the collision of the legal and political systems. Sometimes this commentary is insightful, yet sometimes it is cringe-worthy.
What constitutes an easy death? Or a difficult one? Though her mother’s death was considered ‘easy’ by doctors, it still involved pain, suffering, and turmoil.
As the book continues, the narrator becomes less and less reliable and also less sure of himself and what he is capable of. Desires, thoughts, and feelings pull Kochan apart with a slow intensity.
He details stories that float around the county, amongst the men working the fields, and also the stories that women trade while they sew around the dining room table and children play around their feet. Those stories mark time. They are shared county history.
Hiroshima follows the stories of six individuals who lived through the bomb — a clerk, a seamstress, a doctor, a minister, a surgeon, and a Catholic priest initially from Germany. There are five chapters each with six sections — one for each person.
Dyar is not a character you sympathize with, but he is a character that you can’t look away from. His questions about existence are common ones, it is where and how he seeks answers that compose his dissolution and downfall.
Quin uses vagaries, the mists of the seaside Brighton, and a circularity of language to construct a perfect circular narrative. So perfect, that it’s a magical experience to get to the ending and read how everything comes together.