Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1983 Costa Winner

Fools of Fortune by William Trevor


Publisher: Penguin

Length: 192 pages

About: Anglo-Irish romance, friction and intrigue

Style: 1st & 3rd person

Where: Ireland and England

When: 1918-1983



Publisher’s synopsis:

Willie Quinton, a child of eight, is becoming acutely aware that his Protestant parents are supporters of Irish Home Rule. His father and sisters are killed, but Willie suppresses the memory of their deaths until he grows up and falls in love with his English cousin Marianne.



Had you been too polite to say you were bored as we trailed about on our walks? I wondered that. ‘We might go to Kilneagh,’ I had suggested. ‘It would be nice to show you Kilneagh.’ You smiled and said you’d like that, but wouldn’t it be sad for me? Nothing could be sad with you, I thought, but did not say it.




It is Mr. Trevor's achievement that he compresses these 60 years of history into a dense and supple narrative; and in doing so, makes us feel both the gathering disorder in the Quintons' lives and its sad, ineradicable meaning for generations to come.

New York Times Michiko Kakutani September 26, 1983 for full review click here


Not so good

Through this terrible story William Trevor manages to convey the deep melancholy of Ireland and also its humour and heroism. The tragedy lingers and maims, but the characters go out to greet it as if they belong to it. Loyalty can be a terrible thing and Trevor’s story it demands suicide, murder exile, the ultimate self-denial. Yet out of all this horror he creates a sort of gentleness.

Anne Barnes, The Times 8th September 1984


About the author

William Trevor was born in 1928 at Michaelstown, County Cork, spent his childhood in provincial Ireland and now lives in Devon. He attended a number of Irish schools and later Trinity College, Dublin.  In 2002 he was knighted. Trevor has resided in Devon, South West England, since the 1950s.





































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Page turner







Age guide: 15



Books by same author:


1990 film starring Julie Christie directed by Pat O'Connor








2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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