January 2020 #RivetingReviews. Introduction by West Camel

Happy New Year and welcome to our first Riveting Reviews of 2020. With the shock of January out of the way – along with other unmentionable shocks – we’re doubling up in February with reviews today and at the end of the month. 

This set – our first ‘general’ reviews (i.e., not tied to a particular language or country) since September – is an intriguing mix. We have fiction, non-fiction, poetry, non-crime by a crime writer, and a lost classic. 

The latter is The Iron Chariot, possibly Norway’s best crime novel (the Riverton Prize, Norway’s Crime writing award, is named after its author), reviewed by Ewa Sherman. 

Our own Alyson Coombes is impressed by a Belgian debut, while I’m in awe of Aleksandar Hemon’s two books in one – My Parents / This Does Not Belong To Me. 

In a complete departure from our normal fare, Max Easterman offers his thoughts on the translation of a French work that tackles the vast topic of jazz (Max is eminently qualified for this role, as a jazz afficionado and musician himself). 

Ursula Philips returns with her thoughtful review of a non-autobiographical memoir of wartime Poland by Kornel Filipowicz, and Barry Forshaw is back, this time with a review of the late Henning Mankell’s debut novel, now available in English, but surprisingly, not in the crime genre. 

Enjoy these reviews, celebrate that they’re from European writers, be heartened that these UK readers and writers are reading across the continent (and the world), and join us for more at the end of February. 

By West Camel

If you’d like to contribute a #RivetingReview (and it has to be #Riveting), please read the #RivetingReviews Rules and then get in touch with us via our contact page. 


Photo of West Camel by Lisa Kalloo

Category: January 2020

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