Love Is Blind by William Boyd review – alchemy of fact and fiction


This post is by Carys Davies from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A piano tuner’s dangerous affair takes on greater resonance in this perfectly pitched performance

William Boyd’s layered and intricate novel begins close to its end point, with a brief prologue in the form of a 1906 letter from a British penal colony in the Bay of Bengal. In it, an American anthropologist called Page Arbogast tells her sister, Amelia, about the recent arrival of a new assistant, “a tall young Scotsman, about thirty-five years old, called Brodie Moncur”.

Exactly what Brodie is doing there is a mystery that will remain unresolved for almost the entire book. It’s a classic example of Boyd getting things off to a propulsive start, and on the surface Love Is Blind has all the hallmarks of a slow-burning thriller – the event-packed story of a single decade in Brodie’s life.

Continue reading...

Carys Davies’ top 10 wilderness books


This post is by Carys Davies from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




From Eric Newby’s bliss in the Hindu Kush to Paul Bowles’s Saharan horrors, the novelist shares her favourite visions of unfathomable territory

Sometime towards the end of 2016, I heard on my kitchen radio that astronomers had just discovered there are two trillion galaxies in the universe – 10 times more than previously thought.

I switched off the radio and sat down, practically dizzy – overwhelmed by the unfathomable vastness of it all. A single galaxy, remember, like ours, consists of gravity, planets, and millions or billions of stars. So: another 1,999,999,999,999 of those.

Continue reading...