Spring books preview 2007
The coming months see new novels from the likes of Chuck Palahniuk, Lionel Shriver and Ian McEwan. Here are our picks of the upcoming novels vying for a place in this spring's bestsellers listers list
Posted: Mon Feb 26 2007
'Hospital' by Toby Litt (Hamish Hamilton)
‘Two Caravans’ by Marina Lewycka
(Fig Tree, March)The titular caravans sit in the middle of a Kentish field and belong to a motley bunch of immigrant strawberry-pickers. Fans of Lewycka’s bestselling ‘A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian’ will know what to expect: wit, charm and trenchant satire.
‘South of the River’ by Blake Morrison
(ChattoAn ambitious stab at a state-of-the-nation novel pitched somewhere between Jonathans Coe and Franzen. Morrison is best known for non-fiction classics like ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’ (just filmed with Colin Firth playing Morrison and Jim Broadbent his father).
‘On Chesil Beach’ by Ian McEwan
(Cape, April)It’s June 1962, and in a hotel on the Dorset coast a couple who got married that morning are sitting down to dinner in their room. It’s easy to forget, post-‘Atonement’, that McEwan built his reputation on this sort of novella. How will this compare with ‘The Cement Garden’ and ‘The Comfort of Strangers’? Initial buzz suggests very well.
‘Hospital’ by Toby Litt
(Hamish Hamilton, April)Is it a parody of the Arthur Hailey-style hospital blockbuster? A Cronenbergian bodyshock horrorshow? Or a love story in which swooning nurses fall for brutal doctors? All of the above, actually – and without a doubt Litt’s strangest novel yet.
‘Darkmans’ by Nicola Barker
(Fourth Estate, May)The third of Barker’s visionary narratives of the Thames Gateway after ‘Wide Open’ and ‘Behindlings’, ‘Darkmans’ is, it says here, about ‘invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody’.
‘Rant’ by Chuck Palahniuk
(Cape, May)A posthumous oral history of smalltown rebel-turned-malign urban prankster Buster ‘Rant’ Casey, who deliberately infected thousands with rabies and ran an ‘urban demolition derby’ called Party Crashing. Twisted and nihilistic – but you knew that.
‘The Post-Birthday World’ by Lionel Shriver
(HarperCollins, May)The ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ author’s first novel for HarperCollins is a ‘Sliding Doors’ affair that unfolds in parallel universes. Will the heroine stay with her intellectual partner or run off with a snooker player?
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