Dan Sandman

Archive for January, 2017|Monthly archive page

#5 Remembering Light and Stone

In Books, Fiction on 27/01/2017 at 12:00 pm

#5 Remembering Light and Stone.jpgAisling is an Irish emigrant living in a small Italian town with an Italian family who run a run a shop. She has a nice America boyfriend called Ted and finds work as a foreign language expert. Aisling writes about her travels around Italy, her interest in art history and her disturbing dreams. The writing is confessional, accurate and authentic; giving the ordinary thoughts of everyday life an aesthetic quality. Aisling criticizes the aspirations and interests of the other characters, as Ted tries to make her happy. Like so many literary novels written since the nineties, this book is a study of trauma and the fallibility of memory.


#4 Dune

In Books, Science Fiction on 20/01/2017 at 12:00 pm

4-duneOn the desert planet Arrakis, two great houses fight for control of the spice Melange. The spice is necessary for interstellar travel, making it a highly valuable resource. Following a lengthy stewardship of the spice, Baron Harkonnen has grown fat from profit, becoming a despotic ruler. On the Emperor’s order, power is transferred to House Atreides, but the Atreides are soon usurped, through military defeat and in house treachery. As the Duke Leto is defeated, Paul Atreides and his mother survive, joining forces with the indigenous Freman. Paul’s education–his combat training, his zen training, his book studies–empower him to lead a guerrilla army. He has a unique identity, a combination of traits inherited from his mother’s side and his father’s side. These characteristics are useful, but he must also learn to adapt to the harsh desert environment, where water is prized above all else.

#3 Things Fall Apart

In Books, Fiction on 13/01/2017 at 12:00 pm

Written in the past tense, in clear and concise prose, this historical novel explores the religious practices and cultural traditions of a village called Umuofia. The protagonist Okonkwo is a great wrestler and a great warrior; a man with many wives and much authority within the village. It is said that he has a strong chi or personal god, which has enabled him to prosper; despite his father being heavily in debt when he died. Okonkwo shows no emotion, unless it is the emotion of anger. For example, as is acceptable within the village, and to maintain his role as head of the family, he often beats his wives. Okonkwo is a great believer in the laws of his society, even when the law is against him. When Okonkwo is exiled from Umuofia for an inadvertent shooting, he must abandon his father’s village. Meanwhile, a new system of governance, accompanied by a new religious order, one ruled by white men, has begun to establish itself.

#3 Things Fall Apart.jpg

#2 Rites of Passage

In Adventure, Books, Comedy, Fiction on 06/01/2017 at 12:00 pm

Edmund Talbot is the narrator of this comic sea adventure, set upon a warship heading out to colonize the antipodes. Talbot is an aristocrat, writing a journal addressed to his lorded godfather. His style is energetic, utilizing exclamation marks wherever possible. Talbot humorously conveys his boredom, his sickness and his desires on board ship. His aristocratic wit–literary and foreign language references brandished as intellectual insults–can be endearing, but his attacks, particular on the vulnerable, veer close to plain snobbery and can be abusive. As an influential man of some power, but a young man of little experience, Talbot learns that a high station in life comes with a high level of responsibility.


Primrose Hill 03/01/17