Tag Archives: friendship

Berger, John. Here is Where We Meet


No one appreciates the detail of being alive more than the dead. In Lisbon, a man encounters his mother sitting on a park bench who laughs with the impudence of a schoolgirl. She has been dead for fifteen years. In Krakow market he recognises Ken, his passeur, the most important person in his life between the ages of eleven and seventeen. They last met when Ken was sixty-five – forty years ago. The number of lives that enter any one life is incalculable. In this nomadic and playful book which travels through fictions across Europe, seemingly disparate stories reveal themselves to be linked, mislaid objects find their place and sensual memories penetrate the present.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Year: 2006
ISBN-10: 0747573182

Tremain, Rose. The Gustav Sonata

sonata  sonata3d

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment? Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows.

As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.

Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while all life’s hopes and passions continually press upon the borders and beat upon the gate.

Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Year: 2016
ISBN-10: 1784740039

Burgess, Melvin. Junk.

junk junk

The love story of two runaway teenagers, Gemma and Tar, and their struggles with heroin addiction.
 Melvin Burgess’ most ambitious and complex novel is a multi-faceted and vivid depiction of a group of young people in the grip of addiction. It is told in many different voices, from the addicts themselves to the friends watching from the outside who try to prevent tragedy.

Publisher: Andersen Press
Year: 2014
ISBN-10: 1783440627

Thompson, Harry. This Thing of Darkness

In 1831 Charles Darwin set off in HMS Beagle under the command of Captain Robert Fitzroy on a voyage that would change the world.  Tory aristocrat Fitzroy was a staunch Christian who believed in the sanctity of the individual in a world created by God: Darwin the liberal cleric and natural historian went on to develop a theory of evolution that would cast doubt on the truth of the Bible and the descent of man.  The friendship forged during their epic expeditions on land and sea turned into bitter enmity as Darwin’s theories threatened to destroy everything Fitzroy stood for…
Janine Henderson HYMS: A great book tracing the intertwining lives of Charles Darwin and Robert FitzRoy who was the brilliant captain of the Beagle, who shared a cabin with Darwin for 5 years whilst his ship was charting out new maps of the South Atlantic for the Admiralty. The book touches on so many themes: Darwin’s “discoveries” and his increasingly heretical views which challenged everything that FitzRoy believed in, religious arguments, racism and bigotry and Fitzroy`s mental illness. Would recommend it because it is so well written and thought provoking.

Publisher: Headline Review
Year: 2006
ISBN-10: 0755302818

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote

Widely regarded as the world’s first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain.

Jonathan Lloyd HYMS: themes madness, eccentricity, duty, chivalry, friendship, ageing.

Publisher: Vintage Classics
ISBN: 0099469693