Doug Merrill

Writer, editor, translator, project manager, reformed bookseller. Currently based in Berlin, following stints in Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Washington, Warsaw, Budapest and Atlanta. Also blogs at A Fistful of Euros, though less frequently than here these days.

Most commented posts

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison — 7 comments
  2. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin — 6 comments
  3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments
  5. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments

Author's posts

Sep 05 2020

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Ideally, of course, I would take the time to live with Death of a Naturalist for a good long while, absorbing the images, being surprised by new readings, seeing more levels of meaning on re-reading, having some poems shift from mild interest to true favorite, having others fade only to be rediscovered later and seem …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/05/death-of-a-naturalist-by-seamus-heaney/

Aug 31 2020

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan might be that garrulous guy at the bar telling stories of things he’s done and seen, or things that people he knows have done and seen. The book goes down easy; I read it in less than an afternoon. Individually the tales don’t go on for too long, there’s usually something amusing along …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/31/trout-fishing-in-america-by-richard-brautigan/

Aug 29 2020

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus

I read Buffalo Soldier back in May when I was recovering from acute appendicitis, and it did exactly what I needed: took me far away, into imaginary lands where people had thrilling adventures full of reversals and narrow escapes. The circumstances of my reading mean that I have not retained details as well as I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/29/buffalo-soldier-by-maurice-broaddus/

Aug 28 2020

The ChildThat Books Built by Francis Spufford

The Child that Books Built by Francis Spufford

The Child That Books Built, Francis Spufford’s second book, published six years after his first, raises a publishing question that I have long been interested in, but one that I suspect does not have any firm answer. How does an editor spot someone whose first book or two are strong but who is likely to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/28/the-child-that-books-built-by-francis-spufford/

Aug 23 2020

Moneyland by Oliver Bullough

Moneyland by Oliver Bullough

If for some reason your blood pressure is too low, this book will raise it as surely as any medicine. In Moneyland, Oliver Bullough describes in gut-wrenching detail the power of corruption in the contemporary world, how much the rich powerful and corrupt are continuously stealing from normal and law-abiding people, how thoroughly they have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/23/moneyland-by-oliver-bullough/

Aug 15 2020

The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen

The Comanche Empire

Pekka Hämäläinen gets right to the point: “This book is about an American empire that, according to conventional histories, did not exist. It tells the familiar tale of expansion, resistance, conquest, and loss, but with a reversal of the usual historical roles: it is a story in which Indians expand, dictate, and prosper, and European …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/15/the-comanche-empire-by-pekka-hamalainen/

Aug 11 2020

Die Schaukel by Annette Kolb

Die Schaukel

As the story of an artistic family in a materialistic time, Die Schaukel reminded me of The Family Fang, though of course Kolb’s work predates Kevin Wilson’s novel by more than three quarters of a century. The Lautenschlags are a Franco-German family who moved from Paris to Munich not long after the Franco-Prussian War led …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/11/die-schaukel-by-annette-kolb/

Aug 08 2020

The Last Emperox by John Scalzi

The Last Emperox

How does a human civilization react to news of its possible impending collapse, with the only option for survival a major upheaval touching every person in it and changing its power structure entirely? That’s the overriding question of John Scalzi’s Interdependency series. The Last Emperox is the third and concluding part of the story, following …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/08/the-last-emperox-by-john-scalzi/

Aug 02 2020

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

By Force Alone

What if Arthur, like Uther, was an ambitious thug and the knights of the Round Table were a collection of weirdos and ruffians who say “fuck” a lot? That’s more or less the premise of Lavie Tidhar’s By Force Alone, and although I finished the book relatively quickly during my recent vacation in the Eifel, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/02/by-force-alone-by-lavie-tidhar/

Jun 28 2020

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky

Pacing, and the parts of the story not told, shape The Fated Sky the second book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronauts series. The Calculating Stars ended with Elma York, the series’ first-person narrator, on her way to the moon. By the beginning of The Fated Sky, there is a colony on the moon with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/28/the-fated-sky-by-mary-robinette-kowal/