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. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  3. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments
  4. Midnight at the Pera Palace by Charles King — 5 comments
  5. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments

Author's posts

Jul 21 2019

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen was born in 1906 and thus grew up in Germany’s Weimar years. He published his first two novels after the Nazi takeover but before the war began. At first, his work as a scriptwriter for film studios in Munich made him exempt from the draft. Following a bomb attack, he went underground and …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/21/tauben-im-gras-by-wolfgang-koeppen/

Jul 21 2019

The Night Manager by John Le Carré

The Night Manager by John Le Carré

Not quite 100 pages in on this one, I pronounced the Eight Deadly Words. Sorry, eponymous Jonathan. Even sorrier, Sophie, who lived and died some years before the main action, and who existed to give Jonathan regrets. And perhaps to show that the corrupt Egyptian brothers might be a darker shade of grey than the …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/21/the-night-manager-by-john-le-carre/

Jul 20 2019

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars starts with a bang. Elma York, Kowal’s protagonist and first-person narrator says that she and her husband had flown up to the mountain cabin that he inherited for stargazing, “By which I mean: sex. Oh, don’t pretend that you’re shocked. Nathaniel and I were a healthy young married couple, so most of …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/20/the-calculating-stars-by-mary-robinette-kowal/

Jul 19 2019

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos begins well outside of the Nigerian metropolis, at a hot and dirty army outpost somewhere in the Niger delta: oil country, but also rebel country. Serving under a corrupt colonel and terrorizing local people is not what Chike Ameobi signed up for the army to do. After twelve months as an officer …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/19/welcome-to-lagos-by-chibundu-onuzo/

Jun 23 2019

Off to the Wabe

Dublin 2019

Perhaps to gyre and gimble. Back in mid-July. In the meantime, I have become a supporting member of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. I’m gutted that I won’t be able to attend in person, but what can ya do? I had an amazing time at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, and enjoyed being a Hugo voter …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/23/off-to-the-wabe/

Jun 22 2019

My Real Children by Jo Walton

My Real Children by Jo Walton

In 2015 Patricia Cowan has passed getting on in years and is definitely old. She’s reasonably well taken care of in the home where she lives now. She’s often confused, though, sometimes very confused, “VC” as it says in the notes the nurses and aides make. She’s not surprised, though; her mother struggled with dementia …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/22/my-real-children-by-jo-walton/

Jun 19 2019

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming really is that good. Here’s a lengthy excerpt from the beginning. “There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/19/becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Jun 17 2019

Der Vater eines Mörders by Alfred Andersch

Der Vater eines Moerders

In May 1928, the director of an old-fashioned high school in Munich enters a ninth grade classical Greek class to check and see how the students are coming along with their lessons. Der Vater eines Mörders tells how one student, Franz Kien, experienced the hour, what he saw and heard, what he thought and felt. …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/17/der-vater-eines-morders-by-alfred-andersch/

Jun 15 2019

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

“No one sends for a niece they’ve never seen before just to annoy her family and ruin her life. That, at least, is what I thought. This was before I had ever been to the city. I had never been in a duel, or held a sword myself. I had never kissed anyone, or had …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/15/the-privilege-of-the-sword-by-ellen-kushner/

Jun 15 2019

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

A Deepness in the Sky is about as close to opposite of Just One Damned Thing After Another as it’s possible to be and still have both books inhabit the same genre. Deepness is big (774 pages in the mass market paperback edition that I have), full of carefully worked out ideas about space and …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/15/a-deepness-in-the-sky-by-vernor-vinge/