50 Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2014 (Pt 5)

50pt5 (2)

  1. Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole – Cole follows up his highly acclaimed Open City with this novella, which concerns a man who decides to visit Nigeria after years of absence. We are promised ‘a striking portrait’ of a country in change…
  2. Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner – ‘High up in the Conrad Flats that loom bleakly over Acton, two future stars of the literary scene – or so they assume – are hard at work, tapping out words of wit and brilliance between ill-paid jobs writing captions for the Cat Calendar 1985 and blurbs for trashy novels with titles like Brothel of the Vampire. Just twenty-one but already well entrenched in a life eked out on dole payments, pints and dollops of porridge and pasta, Llewellyn and Cunningham don’t have it too bad: a pub on the corner, a misdirected parental allowance, and the delightful company of Aoife, Llewellyn’s model fiancée, mother of his young baby – and the woman of Cunningham’s increasingly vivid dreams.’ Warner is all set to deliver ‘a darkly comic tale of hope and humanity against the grim urban and political landscape of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.’ Not too radical a departure then in his move from Cape to Faber…
  3. Theo by Ed Taylor – Another highly promising debut for you. Theo is the son of a rock star and spends most of his time being looked after by his grandfather and a succession of minders and living in the house that apparently inspired The Great Gatsby. Old Street are apparently going to be shouting from the rooftops about this one…
  4. Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus – ‘A bold new short story collection from one of the most exhilarating and innovative writers of our time. The stories in Leaving the Sea take place in a world which is a distortion of our own, where strange illnesses strike at random and where people disappear without a trace. Ben Marcus has created a labyrinth populated by disturbed, weary men; from the frustrated creative writing teacher to the advocate of self-inhumation; from Paul, whose return home leads him further into his isolation, or Mather, whose child is sick, to an unnamed narrator who spends his lonely evenings calculating the probabilities of his mother’s imminent demise.’
  5. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – In the same year that we will see the highly anticipated screen version of Faber’s Under the Skin, we will also get a new novel, which opens with a man saying goodbye to his wife before setting out on a perilous journey as a Christian missionary. It is an unexpected and wildly original novel about adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart so we are told. V excited about this one…
  6. The Good Inn by Black Francis, Josh Frank & Steven Appleby – That’s right, a graphic novel from the Pixies’ front man. A fantastical piece of illustrated fiction based on a yet-to-be-written soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t yet exist, which Black Francis has approached with the same characteristic eccentricity and imagination he writes a song.  The teenage hero known only as Soldier Boy escapes a devastating explosion at the French port of Toulon and sets out on a bizarre journey across France. Navigating past homicidal gypsies, combative soldiers and porn-peddling peasants, he takes refuge in a secluded inn, where he finds himself centre stage in the making of the world’s first narrative pornographic film. We’ll have double helpings please!
  7. Gone are the Leaves by Anne Donovan – Set in the medieval past Gone Are the Leaves tells the story of Feilamort and Deirdre, two friends living in the home of a Scottish laird and his French wife. When the time comes for Feilamort to make an awful decision, his choice catapults himself and Deirdre head-first into adulthood, with unimaginable consequences. We liked Buddha Da here at Bookmunch so we have high hopes for this one…
  8. Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss – The first of a two book sequence apparently, ‘Bodies of Light is a deeply poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous
    nineteenth century upbringing set in the atmospheric world of Pre-Raphaelitism and the early suffrage movement. Ally (older sister of May in Night Waking), is intelligent, studious and engaged in an eternal – and losing – battle to gain her mother’s approval and affection. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a religious zealot, keener on feeding the poor and saving prostitutes than on embracing the challenges of motherhood.’
  9. Glow by Ned Beauman – Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident both demonstrated that Beauman is among the more interesting of our up and coming home grown talent so Glow, which some lucky Bookmunch reviewers have already had a glimpse of in Granta 123
  10. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – Another big gun, David Mitchell is back with what sounds like a wild one. The Bookseller give us this:

The “rich and strange” novel will follow the story of Holly Sykes, who runs away from home in 1984 and 60 years later can be found in the far west of Ireland, raising a granddaughter as the world’s climate collapses. Sceptre said: “In between, Holly is encountered as a barmaid in a Swiss resort by an undergraduate sociopath in 1991; has a child with a foreign correspondent covering the Iraq War in 2003; and, widowed, becomes the confidante of a self-obsessed author of fading powers and reputation during the present decade.” Holly’s life is repeatedly intersected by a slow-motion war between a cult of predatory soul-decanters and a band of vigilantes. According to Sceptre: “Holly begins as an unwitting pawn in this war – but may prove to be its decisive weapon.”


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