Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

Living on watercress


Sweeney Astray by Seamus Heaney My rating: 3 of 5 stars Sweeney (Suibhne in Irish) was a ferocious war chieftain or ¨king”, perhaps in the 9th century A.D. (the songs about him are at least that old), raging in battle and disregarding all the rules of war until the day he defied the holy cleric … read more »

Polar + histoire


I read this book on the recommendation of Michèle Audin, whose blog La Commune de Paris has been enormously helpful in my research for my novel The Bookbinder. As I say below in my review, Hervé Le Corre is a very effective writer of dark suspense and brings the fears, terror and heroism of the … read more »

Sequels of apartheid


The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino My rating: 5 of 5 stars Marvelous. Arianna Dagnino takes the reader into some very diverse regions of South Africa and Namibia, and much deeper into their history (the protagonist is a paleaontologist seeking and finding evidence of the earliest human settlements, possibly the earliest in the world, hundreds of … read more »

Witness of disruption


L’éducation sentimentale by Gustave Flaubert My rating: 4 of 5 stars [My delight in this book came from the beauty of Flaubert’s descriptions and phrasing and also his acute observations of the  turmoil preceding, during and following the great social revolution of 1848 in France, especially Paris. This despite the ridiculous, comical passivity of his … read more »

Humour mordant


On M’a Demandé De Vous Calmer by Stéphane Guillon My rating: 4 of 5 stars Toujours amusants et parfois cruels, ces commentaires de Stéphane Guillon sur la politique et la culture françaises au temps de Sarkozy, légèrement récrits de ses textes pour radio Inter. Pour moi, ça m’a sert pour apprendre beaucoup d’expressions populaires, comme … read more »