Mini classic review: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

In The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective's notoriety as the arch-despoiler of the schemes concocted by the criminal underworld at last gets the better of him. Though Holmes and his faithful sidekick Dr Watson solve what will become some of their most bizarre and extraordinary cases - the disappearance of the race horse Silver … Continue reading Mini classic review: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Mini classic review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Taken from the poverty of her parents' home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle's absence in Antigua, the Crawford's arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of … Continue reading Mini classic review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mini classic review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers … Continue reading Mini classic review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Mini classic review: The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

Dunnett introduces her irresistible hero Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace nobleman of elastic morals and dangerous talents whose tongue is as sharp as his rapier. In 1547 Lymond is returning to his native Scotland, which is threatened by an English invasion. Accused of treason, Lymond leads a band of outlaws in a desperate race … Continue reading Mini classic review: The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

Mini classic review: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Baldwin's haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature. In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself. … Continue reading Mini classic review: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Mini classic review: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening … Continue reading Mini classic review: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Mini classic review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist. “But I don't want … Continue reading Mini classic review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley