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Alternative Culture Magazine

Five great books I found on a desert island...

When I arrived on the Spanish island of Formentera, in the home of a German woman from whom I was renting, I discovered only a handful of English language books. I had sent a parcel of six of my own books from Canada, but who knew when and if they would ever arrive. In the meantime, there were five weeks ahead of me. I got down to business...

book review The Black Prince--Iris Murdoch
The Black PrinceQuite simply, a masterpiece. Bradley Pearson, the narrator, is supposed to be a failed novelist. But the story he proceeds to tell, of his own unraveling, is as taut and suspenseful as any best-seller. Along the way, his narrative intrusions are most entertaining, for those who like ironic icing on their novel-cake. And contained within the love story are passages on Shakespeare and on love which are unmatched anywhere.

book review The Member of the Wedding--Carson McCullers
A perfect tale of a 12-year-old Southern girl's obsession with the idea of running off with her newlywed brother and bride, to escape her dull existence and impatient youth.

book review The Heart is a Lonely Hunter--Carson McCullers
A story weaving together the strange and compelling lives of five small-town Southerners: an adolescent girl just discovering a passion for music; a deaf mute whose best friend has been institutionalized; a rabble-rousing drunk inspired by visions of revolution; an embittered Negro doctor driven by his own visions of freedom and respect for his race; and a restaurant owner who watches them all pass through.

book review The Visitation--Don Cushman
Superbly plotted psychological thriller about a brilliant priest co-opted by the Vatican to put down rumors of miracles in various hotspots around the globe.

book review On the Yankee Station--William Boyd
Collection of stories by an original talent--deft with language, sharp of description, and keen for the unusual twist in the stories of otherwise ordinary lives.

Six Books I Took to a Desert Island


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