Review: Countdown to Pearl Harbour by Steve Twomey

This week’s review for the Japan Times is of Steve Twomey’s excellent new book, Countdown to Pearl Harbour: The Twelve Days to the Attack. It’s original both in the form it takes, focusing on the individuals involved and how their personalities and assumptions contributed to the outcome of the attack, but also in how it demolishes what manyContinue reading “Review: Countdown to Pearl Harbour by Steve Twomey”

Haiku, Mythology and a new Shoreline

This week I have two pieces in the Japan Times. One is a look back at haiku master Basho’s classic work The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the other is a review of the final part in Lian Hearn’s The Tale of Shikanoko quadrilogy, The Tengu’s Game of Go. I’ve already reviewed parts 1, 2 and 3. Both BashoContinue reading “Haiku, Mythology and a new Shoreline”

The Long Defeat by Akiko Hashimoto and Not The Booker

My latest piece for the Japan Times is a review of Akiko Hashimoto’s brilliant sociological study of how defeat in World War 2 has manifested in contemporary Japanese society. Balanced and insightful, it goes behind the easy simplifications normally attributed to Japan’s war memory. Voting is still open in Not The Booker so if you’veContinue reading “The Long Defeat by Akiko Hashimoto and Not The Booker”

Shusaku Endo, When I Whistle Review

I’ve been a bit quiet while I recover from launching The Waves Burn Bright and preparing for the Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 25th, 15.45 with Glenn Patterson, tickets still available). In the meantime I’ve been doing a lot of reviewing. The latest is a piece about Shusaku Endo’s When I Whistle for the Japan Times. IfContinue reading “Shusaku Endo, When I Whistle Review”

The Company and The Shogun Review

It has been a horrible week but I’m going to avoid going on about the referendum, I’m too upset and too angry and it’s probably best for all concerned if I keep that to myself for the moment. In the meantime here’s my latest review for the Japan Times, on a wonderful book about the history ofContinue reading “The Company and The Shogun Review”

Lian Hearn, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child Review

  My latest piece for the Japan Times is live now, a review of the second part in Lian Hearn’s The Tale of Shikanoko, Autumn Princess, Dragon Child. If you like your historical fiction shot through with fantasy, then this is a series for you. Check it out here.

West Dunbartonshire Booked Festival Appearance

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be part of the 2016 West Dunbartonshire Booked Festival. I’ll be talking about my new novel, The Waves Burn Bright, at Clydebank Library on May 17th at 7.30pm. The event is free but ticketed. Full details here. The book tour currently looks like this: May 17th, 7.30pm, West Dunbartonshire BookedContinue reading “West Dunbartonshire Booked Festival Appearance”