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The English Pear: Christmas Lebkuchen

‘’I don’t know what to do! I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!” -Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Lebkuchen are one of our favourite Christmas treats, but … Continue reading The English Pear: Christmas Lebkuchen

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Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

With the temperature taking a dive and the leaves continuing to drop off the trees, this week is the perfect time to curl up inside with a good book and lose yourself in a story. For Halloween season, I’ve put together a list of the best Gothic literature to get your fangs into and keep you on the edge of your seat! Continue reading Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

Review: ‘Slip of a Fish’

Amy Arnold is a former Exeter student who graduated in 1986. Slip of a Fish is her debut novel and has been awarded the Northern Book Prize for 2018. RAZZ was lucky enough to have the opportunity to have a sneak peak, prior to its publication on 1st November.

 Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold is a novel that confronts the mother-daughter relationship in a unique style, that makes it as much about the way that it is written as the story itself. Through Arnold’s narrative style, readers view a common type of relationship in an uncommon way, fully immersing ourselves in the mind of the protagonist, Ash. Continue reading Review: ‘Slip of a Fish’

In My Good Books: ‘Netherland’ by Joseph O’Neill

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill is a fragmented narrative that depicts love, politics and nostalgia, as seen through the eyes of Hans van den Broek. Hans is a middle-aged realist who is battling the chaos of New York-living during a confused stage in his life. The narrative of Netherland is propelled by the friendships of Hans as he navigates his present urban existence, yet Hans constantly finds himself seeking his childhood memories and passions. The title, Netherland, is almost certainly inspired by Hans’ Dutch origin, however on first reflection I was struck with a sense of the Disney portrayal of ‘Neverland’. ‘Neverland’ is the fictional island on which one can never age, and thus lives in an eternal childhood. To an extent, Hans similarly resists the reality of his ageing as he yearns for his simpler childhood and remains intent on continuing his childhood passion of cricket. So fundamentally, Netherland portrays the struggle of a man in a dangerous and fragile adult world. Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Netherland’ by Joseph O’Neill

The Rise of Female Dystopias

Over the past few decades, the literary world has seen a surge in the production of dystopian fiction, so much so that is has become iconic in 21st century popular culture. Though the origins of the dystopian novel can date back to the 19th century, with many considering E.M. Foster as its pioneer, dystopian fiction is a genre that has continued to evolve. In the noughties, for instance, the literary category was dominated by the emergence of a number of young adult dystopian series such as Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, James Dashner’s The  Maze Runner and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. However, in more recent years, dystopian fiction seems to have embarked upon a new, predominantly female trajectory. Continue reading The Rise of Female Dystopias

In My Good Books: ‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans, published in 2012, is a timeless tragic romance. This novel combines quaint domestic harmony with crime and grief as Stedman tells the story of a husband and wife’s search for happiness. It narrates the tale of a mother’s desperation for a child of her own and the frangible line between right and wrong. Admittedly, I was not captivated by the slow … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M.L. Stedman