Hartmann and Fibitch arrived in England as refugees on the Kindertransport and then they had had wives and children and those children had families and – what was the point of this story again? Served (saved?) with a side of Sebald (how can you not) plus the flavour of Rushforth, which is the name of…

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The real life murder mystery of a CBS reporter is foreground and backdrop for a modern day high school student trying to figure out why the wrong man was put down. Also a love story. Salonic. Picture: George Laoutaris

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Pinneberg is the Little Man; What Now is what everyone is asking at the outset of the Depression, when this novel is set. Fallada’s novel is about the piece by piece destruction of a young man by forces that are both incomprehensibly great and pathetically familiar, from the collapse of the world economy to the…

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Medical intern sent by boss to spy on a painter named of Strauch.  What the intern finds is the gaping wound of Lower Austria, which may or may not stand in for the entire world. Extremely bleak.  Extremely funny.  Basically, extreme in all senses. Photo: Florin Draghici

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Spare parts make up the engine of this rickety ride from here to there. One solipsistic young man from England leads friends and acquaintances to Crimea, and for some reason they follow him. With allusions to Nicholson Baker and Peter Carey, this episode also features a drop from Masterchef Australia, which is what I’m into…

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A history of one aspect of the Nazi genocide is brought to present day Parisian suburbs via a massacre in an Algerian village. Extremism, integration, ghettos, religion – all the elements are refashioned to their new context. A memorably good book by an excellent writer and thinker. Fresh. Photo – John Perivolaris

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Author David Lodge stars as his thinly disguised protagonist, Old Man Bates, who is entering retirement, uselessness, and, worst of all, permanent deafness, in this tragi-comi-tragic tale of David Lodge, starring as his protagonist. Largely good. Picture by clogsilk

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One of the world’s great authors goes back in time and space – from the Jerusalem of the 1940s to the Eastern Europe of the 19th Century, from a boy’s heart to a mother’s face to a father’s brain – and brings back everything, but not enough. Cuts close and hurts so good. Wizardly? Masterful.…

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