Category Archives: Thubron Colin

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Heriz

DATE FINISHED: April 9th, 2012

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Victor Losa spends his life living up to his mentor’s accidentally overheard prediction that one day he will be “one hell of a magician”. When he quite suddenly loses his eyesight upon winning a lifetime achievement award Victor must learn to live a much different life than he has known. Victor’s journey is interwoven with the stories of various fictional and historical magicians, followed by the intervention of two very real women.

THOUGHTS:   A game of two halves, the first half of The Manual of Darkness describes the defining moments of Victor’s childhood and beyond: the death of his father, his training and learning curve as a magician, and the history of the magician’s trade via his mentor and substitute father-figure, Galvan. Read more of this post

A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde by Kevin MacNeil

DATE FINISHED: October 2nd, 2011             

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Robert (Lewis) is in a bad way after a cycling accident, but he is determined that it will not affect his casting in the lead role(s) of a new production based on Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  But it seems he must prove his worth over a new actor who has been brought in to play the same role(s) not to mention win back his erstwhile ‘girlfriend’ Juliette.  In fact, none of the cast or crew seem to fully appreciate either Robert’s bravery/tenacity in the face of his post-accident pain, or indeed his immense talent.  And somehow, everything in his life seems to be sliding dramatically from bad to worse…

THOUGHTS:  The bulk of the story is told by Robert, so given the aftermath of the accident, combined with the subject of the play, the logical reader expects some kind of Jekyll & Hyde manifestation within his character.   Read more of this post

Doctor Salt by Gerard Donovan

DATE FINISHED: April 28th, 2011

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  This two-part novel begins with Sunless, travelling to and from the Pharmalak hospital, participating in trials for new pills, for every kind of anxiety disorder. In the second half of the book we meet Salt, whose life-course is altered irrevocably by the aftermath of a family tragedy in his early childhood, shedding new light on the world of Sunless.

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

DATE FINISHED: March 23rd, 2011

RATED: ** 

SYNOPSIS: Hundreds is a country manor going steadily into decline in the post-war years.  Its inhabitants, the Ayres family, believe that there is a sinister presence in the house, and the family doctor watches aghast as the family’s mental health declines as the house almost literally crumbles around them.  Is it a ghost at work, or something more human, or more sinister?

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

The Wave Theory of Angels by Alison MacLeod

DATE FINISHED: March 21st, 2011

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS: As a gothic cathedral rises in the background of medieval France, Christina dies in the bed she shares with her sister Marguerite, yet wakes again on the day of her funeral.  Centuries later in Chicago, Tina falls into a coma upon answering the phone in the middle of the night, and does not recognise her sister and father when she wakes.  The answer lies within the mysteries of philosophy, physics, sleep, dreams and angels…

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post