The Wind Cannot Read


Reviewed May 2016

This is the first of four novels written by Richard Mason. Mason was about 27 when the book was published, variously described as 1946 or 1947.

There seems little connection with the book and the enigmatic title, 'The Wind Cannot Read', which is taken from a line in a Japanese poem.

With a second world war Royal Air Force officer penning a novel based on his experiences one might expect gallantry over the skies of Britain or mainland Europe. But he was far away doing something seemingly quite un-airforcey.

Great Soul of Siberia


Reviewed December 2015

This book is among the top five of the last 100 books I have read. Not because it is well written and translated, which it is, but because it emphatically takes me to a place I have never been and immerses me in an experience I will never have. It is a gem that deserves to be widely discovered.

The Inheritors


Reviewed October 2015

I come to this novel a full 60 years after it was first published. While not as famous as his 'Lord of the Flies', Golding is not alone in thinking 'The Inheritors' his best novel.

And just imagining such a story goes beyond that of most novelists. Most extrapolate and elaborate common modern human themes and experiences to express ideas we can readily share. Golding creates a variant of 'human', our closest ancestor, the neanderthal, and endows them with a way of life and viewing the world.