Re: VN Spotting
From the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/29/best-books-year-2008-review
The most original novel I read in 2008 was Gordon Burn's Born Yesterday (Faber). It is a highly sophisticated take on the news that was served up to us by the media in 2007. Burn's great gift is to make us see these events - that we were all very aware of - anew, through the filter of his fiction. No one has written more shrewdly and knowingly about popular newspaper culture than Burn, but with this novel he taps into something more profound and sinister.
The most original novel of 1842, Nicolai Gogol's Dead Souls, has achieved a magnificent rebirth in 2008 through Donald Rayfield's superb new translation (The Garnett Press). Rayfield's translation is one that Vladimir Nabokov would unreservedly admire and is accompanied by dozens of superb, hitherto unseen illustrations by Marc Chagall. A big, beautiful book and a mould-breaking classic reinvigorated.
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