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Book 22

  1. Amis, Martin — London Fields (471 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — War Horse (182 pages)
  3. Winterson, Jeanette — Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (177 pages)
  4. Robinson, Bruce — Paranoia in the Launderette (43 pages)
  5. Carter, Angela — Heroes and Villains (152 pages)
  6. Burroughs, Edgar Rice — A Princess of Mars (209 pages)
  7. Hill, Susan — The Woman in Black (152 pages)
  8. Fowler, Karen Joy — Sarah Canary (293 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Prize Winning Novels (174 pages)
  10. Beresford, David — Ten Men Dead (426 pages)
  11. Freedland, Jonathan — Bring Home the Revolution: The Case for a British Republic (245 pages)
  12. Kierkegaard, Søren — Fear and Trembling (150 pages)
  13. Nothomb, Amélie — Fear and Trembling (132 pages)
  14. Delany, Samuel R. — Babel-17 (194 pages)
  15. Raine, Craig — History: The Home Movie (335 pages)
  16. du Maurier, Daphne — Jamaica Inn (312 pages)
  17. Kurlansky, Mark — The Basque History of the World (361 pages)
  18. Allin, Michael — Zarafa (204 pages)
  19. Cain, James M. — The Postman Always Rings Twice (116 pages)
  20. Brin, David — The Postman (324 pages)
  21. Skármeta, Antonio — El cartero de Neruda (130 pages)
  22. Moers, Walter — The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (698 pages)
Page count
5480

The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear caught my eye in the charity store because of the resemblance of "Bluebear" to "Bluebeard" (Bluebeard's Castle being one of my favourite operas) and the absurdity of the title. I flipped through it and thought it seemed amusing.

And it was amusing, at times, but overall it was fairly nonsensical. This was nearly 700 pages of Moers indulging his flights of fancy. Sometimes it was fairly imaginative, but too often the prose was bogged down with tedious laundry lists of weird phenomena and too often Moers relied on the deus ex machina — even so far as unapolegetically naming one of his characters Deus X. Machina — to bail his protagonist out of trouble. A good editor could have reduced this book to a third its size.

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