Whoops! Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay

I’ve just finished reading John Lanchester’s account of the credit crunch, the excellently titled “Whoops!”. I’m not particularly up to date with finance, banking or economics but I now understand a lot more about what has happened, why it happened, and why it’ll probably happen again. (In the epilogue, Lanchester sticks his neck out and […]

Whoops! A quote

“The whole question of what Britain is best at, in global terms, is an interesting one. There are four sectors in which Britain is world-class: finance, arms manufacturing, the creative arts, and higher education. Of these, the first receives strong government support, the second lavish investment and strong support, the third is largely left to […]

Fragrant Harbour

Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester is one of my favourite novels. It’s a complex, evocative story set in Hong Kong from the 1930s to the late 1990s, told through the lives of four characters. It has an amazing sense of place – of Hong Kong as a city – so I decided to re-read Fragrant […]

A dog called Interlock

My current parallel text is “L’homme à l’enverse“, a Fred Vargas novel translated into english with the title “Seeking whom he may devour“. I guess the title translation should have tipped me off to the fact that this was likely to be a clunky read. There’s one translation detail that’s really beginning to wind me […]

Inspecteur Rebus

In an effort to improve my French, I’ve been reading a few of my favourite books in translation alongside the original. It saves me from having to pick up a dictionary every time I come across a word I don’t know, and it also encourages me to try and work out what words mean myself […]