Short Fiction: Best Man Speech

"I count myself privileged to have introduced my best mate Phil and his new bride Stephanie nearly three years ago. Steph and I actually met while working together at IBM. I was there briefly as a lawnmowing consultant, and she had just been promoted to Chief Coroner in the laptops department. She was a real... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Les Misérables

Victor Hugo gives us fair warning with Les Misérables, letting us know right there in the title this is a sad tale. At times I had difficulty reading it; I had to keep a box of tissues beside me. But it was overwhelmingly worth it. Jean Valjean is freed after serving nineteen years as a... Continue Reading →

Short Fiction: Visiting Mum

“New earrings? I don’t know why you keep buying those—it’s not like she’ll wear them.” “That’s not the point.” “At least get second hand ones. She’s not going to notice the difference, and you’d save yourself some money.” “Will you lay off? She put new earrings on the list, so I’m giving her new earrings.”... Continue Reading →

Short Fiction: A Sad Day in Parliament

A crowd of reporters swarmed the offices of Barney Whitsunday, who fifteen minutes earlier had resigned as a member of parliament. Barney looked through the shutters of his window (he had, when particularly stressed, the ability to see through solid objects). “Vultures,” he growled. “They all but ignore me through thirty-two years of service, now... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of decadence and obsession is one the most famous books in western literature. It is a regular top-five entry in “greatest novel” lists, continues to sell over half a million copies a year (besides being read by countless high school students in their English classes), and has also been adapted to... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Sun Also Rises

In the state art gallery I saw a painting that consisted of three huge orange swirls across a giant white canvas. It would have taken all of thirty seconds to paint. I imagine art critics raved about the piece’s “importance”, and discussed the great meaning it conveyed. Meanwhile, the humble art gallery patron was left... Continue Reading →

Short Fiction: The Proposal

Tristan pulled up outside Edna’s house in white horse-drawn carriage. One magnificent steed, as noble and muscularly defined as Michelangelo’s David (though that’s where the anatomical similarities ended), stood harnessed beside a skinny old nag that resembled a smoked duck. The carriage itself was large and elaborately detailed, like the fancy candles Tristan’s neighbour was... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Swann’s Way

This book took me three years to finish. On my first attempt at Volume One of Marcel Proust’s epic masterwork, À la recherche du temps perdu, I failed to get past page three. The writing was difficult and bland, so I gave up. Later I tried again, this time with an English translation. This was... Continue Reading →

The Old Widower

The old man sat at the outdoor table in his garden. The table was small and round, with a glass top and white paint peeling off the elaborate steel frame. He remembered when they had bought it, how exquisite it was—at least it had seemed so to them on their shoestring budget. He shifted on... Continue Reading →

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