Archive for fiction

The White Castle

Published in 1985 by the Nobel-winning Orhan Pamuk as his first historical novel, The White Castle probes into the ambiguity of identity and the East-West relation. A young Venice scholar, who in the 17th century sailed to Naples but was captured and put into the Istanbul slave market, met an Ottoman academic – Hoja – the master who would later brought up the idea of swapping their identities. It resembles the situation facing Turkey when confronting the Western culture where a sense of mixed jealousy and anxiety arises. It is especially insightful at a time when Turkey is striving to become a member of the European Union but would inevitably be accused of not being her true self. The White Castle was awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 1990 and cemented the author’s status as a major writer.

The White Castle
by
Orhan Pamuk
Faber and Faber
Paperback
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$58

 

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High Fidelity

Having sold over a million copies since its publication, High Fidelity successfully played to the sympathy of readers (particularly male) by the essence of disorientation and pointlessness Hornby had captured accurately. It is about love, about commitment and about growing-up and adulthood. It is also about things our mothers know by heart and facts the girls we date find out quick but are avoided deliberately by us everyday. “Have you got any soul?” Rob, the protagonist who owns a record shop, was once heckled by a woman and it is only when his girlfriend Laura leaves he starts to question himself hard why all the past relationships has failed. He embarks on an interesting voyage by contacting his previous girlfriends again. Rob tells his discoveries in first person and the book in a whole is an essential modern classic.

High Fidelity
by Nick Hornby
Penguin Books
Paperback
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$46

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A Very Long Engagement

Set in the devastating First World War where human lives were insignificant and slaughtered, A Very Long Engagement shows us the picture behind the front line. The tenacious Mathilde chased after every possible clue leading to repudiating the report that his dear fiancé Manech was dead along with other four ill-fated soldiers. A detective mystery in the guise of a love story, it tells readers one of the many painful tales that might be lost in the dirt and filth of history. The translation is smooth and natural. Long though it is, this work of fiction is still compelling and enjoyable.

A Very Long Engagement
by
Sebastien Japrisot
Virgin Book
Paperback
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$52

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Porno

Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie are characters all too familiar to you. Porno is the strong comeback sequal by Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting which shot him to fame before the eponymous film was shown at the height of the Britpop movement. It’s been 10 years since Renton walked away before Welsh reunited the gang of four who are caught up in a plan to make a porn film. Is there a limit to friendship? By celebrating the hangover of youth Welsh continued the powerful narrative that haunts Edinburgh and shakes off all sorts of pretence and moral tidiness.

Porno
by Irvine Welsh
Johnathan Cape
Paperback
Condition: Fair
Flow Price: HK$48

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The Bridges of Madison County

This short fiction by Robert James Waller became the movie sensation  which starred Meryl Steep and Clint Eastwood in 1995. First published in 1992, the book is famous for it effective depiction of an affactionate middle-age adulterous affair that happened back in the 1960s. It reached #1 on the New York Times Book Seller list for an impressive 13 weeks and stayed on the list for 3 years. More notably, with the moive a blockbuster, it beat Gone With the Wind to become the best selling ficion of all time in 1995.

 Detailed review and analysis of the book’s popularity here

The Bridges of Madison County
by Robert James Waller
Warner Books
Paperback
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$39

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