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Win tickets to the Lincoln Book Festival or Margaret Atwood's short stories  

To celebrate the start of a new school term here at Omnivore HQ, we’ve got not one but two prizes up for grabs.

One lucky reader (and friend/lover/mother) can win tickets to the Lincoln Book Festival (running from 29 September to 4 October, it has a love-'em-or-hate-'em line-up including Earl Spencer, Simon Heffer and MP Chris Bryant) and two nights' accommodation at the recently restored Lincoln Hotel, which has stunning views over the cathedral. 

If Simon Heffer doesn't take your fancy, we've got five copies of Margaret Atwood's new short story collection Stone Mattress to give away (thanks Bloomsbury). Reviewing for The Guardian, Ursula K Le Guin said "She’s having a high old time dancing over the dark swamps of Horror on the wings of satirical wit" and Alex Starritt in The Spectator thought the grande dame was back on form: "The voice is her best one: sharp, but also understanding, wry and humane."

Entries to competitions@theomnivore.co.uk by Saturday 20 September. Let us know which prize you'd like in the subject line.
 
FICTION
The Children Act by Ian McEwan
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"McEwan’s approach to his chosen professional arena is immersive. Fiona’s gift for razor-sharp precis merges well with the novelist’s own ... Fiona is beautifully drawn, so much so that one often has the sense of meeting one’s own thoughts and feelings." Amanda Craig, The Independent VS "Perhaps the highly improbable plot developments towards the end are an attempt to flesh out the material ... But there is worse, in style as well as content. On a sentence-by-sentence basis, the writing is poor, the characterisation scant and lazy.” Cressida Connolly, The Spectator
NON-FICTION
The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"From politicians to the police and security services, the media and the mega-rich, he has damning tales to tell across the board. The reader is left with the impression that we have reached new heights of self-interest and selfishness-driven politics, that Britain is among the most corrupt of states in the world" Danny Dorling, Times Higher Education VS "The 29-year-old Jones is a gifted newspaper columnist, but this is workmanlike stuff with scarcely a memorable sentence in it." Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times
HATCHET JOB OF THE WEEK
 
With the ghost of "literary mediocrity" George Orwell presumably having turned down the chance to review Will Self's new novel, the task fell to Melissa Katsoulis of The Times:

“Not many people will be able to get through this atomised ramble through the many mad minds in Will Self’s head, and those who have grown up on his dark and beautiful studies of the weirdness of everyday life will mourn their old friend and teacher. This, then, is his most important and least readable book yet. It’s bewildering, exhausting and so relentlessly out of focus that unless you are a disenfranchised English student hopped up on caffeine pills and a hatred of Thomas Hardy, you’re unlikely to make it through to the end, still less part with nearly £20 for it.”

Read all reviews for Shark by Will Self.
This issue of the Digest has been sponsored by the books PR agency Cameron Publicity & Marketing. Thanks, guys!
 
Book tickets for Me for Queen's album launch tomorrow and buy their album Iron Horse here.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Reviews Buy | Comment |
“Whether it’s Mrs Dalloway’s lost love or Thérèse Raquin’s burgeoning horror, The Paying Guests reminds us of every great novel we’ve gasped or winced at or loudly urged the protagonists through, and it does not relent." Charlotte Mendelson, The Financial Times VS "The novel’s descent into melodrama as a murder is committed – and the inspector called – turns this engaging literary endeavour into a tiresome soap opera.” Rachel Cusk, The Guardian
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"For all the stuff and nonsense about escaping mortality by switching bodies and devouring souls, death is at the heart of this novel. And there lies its depth and darkness, bravely concealed with all the wit and sleight of hand and ventriloquistic verbiage and tale-telling bravura of which Mitchell is a master.” Ursula K Le Guin, The Guardian VS “The worst thing here by far, though, is the jaw-droppingly undercooked fantasy world with which Mitchell tries to glue together his narrative.” Robert Collins, The Spectator
Best of the rest
Outline by Rachel Cusk, Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood, Head of State by Andrew Marr, House of Ashes by Monique Roffey
Philip Larkin: Life, Art, Love by James Booth
Reviews | Buy Comment |
"This biography is full of wise textual analysis, and for that it should be read." Erica Wagner, New Statesman VS "He rushes about the place with the literary equivalent of air freshener, determined to render even the most whiffy facts a little more fragrant." Rachel Cooke, The Observer
Modernity Britain: A Shake of the Dice by David Kynaston
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"The Chatterley trial is one of several episodes that Kynaston covers at length, allowing stories to emerge in more detail than in the first volume of Modernity Britain where the pace was sometimes too breathless to be engaging. It makes this volume an exciting read, containing moments of suspense and lengthy sections of analysis." Lara Feigel, The Observer
Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Funny, insightful, original and authoritative. At last Victoria has been rescued from her widow’s weeds." Jane Ridley, The Spectator VS "Wilson’s account is marred by slapdash writing, poor organisation and other signs of haste. It contains some very odd judgements." Piers Brendon, The Independent
Best of the rest
Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman, How to Speak Money by John Lanchester, Hack Attack by Nick Davies
THE OMNIVORE PIN-UP
Drinker of fine wines, lover of beautiful women, smoker of many cigarettes, Ralph is an outcomes research manager from Lincolnshire. He talks Murakami and Marquez.

What have you just finished reading?
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I love Murakami. He manages to convey crushing boredom in an exciting way.

What are you planning to read next?
 I am planning to re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude in honor of our recently dear departed comrade, the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love this book; it got me into magic realism. Marquez was the master of the genre and no one holds a candle.

Read the full Pin-up here and to get in touch with the man himself, email love@theomnivore.com quoting Box no. 9214.
Fiction pick of the paperbacks: 
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon, Andrew’s Brain by EL Doctorow, The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin, Southern Cross The Dog by Bill Cheng
Non-fiction pick of the paperbacks
Edward III and the Triumph of England by Richard Barber, Olivier by Philip ZieglerThe Poets' Daughters by Katie Waldegrave

 


 
This issue of the Omnivore Digest was kindly sponsored by Cameron Publicity & Marketing - Dynamic Book Publicity for Publishers and Independent Authors. 
Website: www.cameronpm.co.uk
Twitter: @CameronPMtweets
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity

 
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