Uxbridge Gazette - - Bookshelf -

AN AB­SO­LUTELY REMARKABLE THING by Hank Green, Trapeze, hard­back £14.99, ebook £7.99



Green’s de­but novel is part mil­len­nial so­cial com­men­tary, part sci-fi novel. The pro­tag­o­nist is 23-year-old April May, who is the first to dis­cover one of 64, 10-ft-tall sculp­tures (named Carl) that sud­denly ap­pear on Earth. The novel fol­lows April as she shoots to in­ter­net, and then world­wide fame, and has to deal with ev­ery­thing that comes with that – not to men­tion what the Carls are and what they’re do­ing here.


by Adele Parks, HQ, pa­per­back £7.99, ebook £5.99.


ME­LANIE is de­lighted when old uni­ver­sity friend Abi­gail gets back in touch af­ter 17 years. Child­less Abi­gail is a glam­orous, suc­cess­ful TV pre­sen­ter, while work­ing mum Me­lanie feels dowdy and bor­ing, al­though she’s happy with her sub­ur­ban life, three chil­dren and a hand­some hus­band. The ti­tle of Parks’ lat­est novel makes it clear from the start that de­vi­ous Abi­gail is not the long lost friend Me­lanie hopes for and her life is about to be turned up­side down.

FRENCH EXIT by Pa­trick deWitt, Blooms­bury Pub­lish­ing, hard­back £16.99, ebook £14.99.


‘BLACK Wi­dow’ Frances

Price and her feck­less son Mal­colm are su­per-rich New York­ers fallen on hard times. In­stead of find­ing jobs, the nox­ious pair sail for France on a lux­ury liner. DeWitt’s ar­gu­ment is that when the rich be­come poor, their poverty isn’t like the des­ti­tu­tion ex­pe­ri­enced by the mi­grants he de­picts. In­stead of a plau­si­ble nar­ra­tive we are given ran­dom-seem­ing en­coun­ters with bizarre mi­nor char­ac­ters. They are all las­soed into deWitt’s Wes An­der­son-style plot even­tu­ally, us­ing in­creas­ingly sur­real de­vices in­clud­ing a spirit-in­fested cat...

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