Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Book Reviews

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Book Reviews

Article excerpt

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced PS14.99 (ebook PS8.99). Available now. ON the surface, geeky schoolboy Alex Woods doesn't have a lot going for him.

With a clairvoyant for a mum and a natural talent for saying and doing the wrong thing, he finds himself branded weird and bullied by his classmates.

A rather unpromising first meeting with elderly curmudgeon Mr Peterson marks the start of an unlikely friendship. Laugh-out-loud funny in places, Gavin Extence's debut novel perfectly captures the awkwardness and agonies of growing up.

A touching account of Alex's attempts to make sense of a nonsensical world and stand up for his beliefs, it raises some difficult questions.

Death, faith and morality are some of the concepts tackled here but with a lightness of touch and humour that never sounds like preaching.

Utilising a mixture of letters, diaries, journalism, official records and fiction the writers later penned, Feigel expertly Book Reviews The Love-Charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War by Lara Feigel is published in hardback by Bloomsbury, priced PS25. Available now. THE Love-Charm of Bombs is an enchanting biography examining the first-hand experiences of five prominent authors - Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay, Henry Yorke (pen-name Henry Green) and Hilde Spiel - in wartime London.

Volunteering as ambulance drivers, fire-fighters and ARP wardens at the height of the Blitz, the fearful blackouts and images of London ablaze are brought vividly to life. …

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