Book reviews Books

Book review: Sleeping With the Lights On by Darryl Jones

“Like all avant-garde art… horror’s purpose is to force its audiences to confront the limits of their own tolerance.”

“Horror runs very deep”, says Darryl Jones, in his compact and entertaining history of horror, and “is part of what we are.” Coming in at under 200 pages, I was surprised that this story of horror, from Euripides to the Slender Man, arrived in a pocket-sized edition. If you’ve ever read one of OUP’s Very Short Introductions, you’ll know what to expect and I wonder why this book wasn’t called Horror: A Very Short Introduction.

Books Fiction Interviews

On Ghosts, the Gothic, & 1920s Lesbians: An Interview with Catriona Ward, Author of Rawblood

Catriona Ward is the author of two novels, Rawblood (from 2015) and Little Eve, which was published this summer. I first interviewed Ward on 4th February 2016 for the Oxford Writing Circle, in the dark and now sadly gone Albion Beatnik Bookstore; I even recorded a terrible quality video of the interview (thankfully Ward’s intelligence and wit is of a much higher standard). Here, I am publishing an edited transcript of that interview. Whilst much has moved on since we met in Oxford, this interview should at least provide some nostalgic interest.


Book review: Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba

Such Small Hands, a novella originally published in Spanish in 2008, is a chilling and Kafkaesque story of childhood trauma that asks the question: can children ever be guilty of wilful cruelty? While Andrés Barba is the author of twelve novels, very few have been translated into English; one can only hope this remarkable book goes someway to changing that.