Paul Blezard - Editorial Expert

About Paul Blezard

Multi award winning broadcaster, poet, author and literary commentator, Paul Blezard has for over twenty years spoken to, written about and worked with many of the world’s finest authors, poets, thinkers and writers.

On radio or television, international literary festival stages and as a critic, judge and editor, he profoundly believes in the transformative power of a good story well told. Paul Blezard is Festival Director of The LoveReading LitFest.

Latest Reviews By Paul Blezard

Four Dervishes
Four Dervishes draws on a long tradition of storytelling as it skewers issues like religious bigotry, injustice, the denial of women’s rights, and class division. Lavishly inventive, verbally rich, an exotic confection, this novel is both darkly thematic and humorously playful. View Full Review
Diamonds In The Mud
If you don’t read the Daily Mirror, or have much interest in football, you may not know of columnist and commentator Brian Reade. In which case you have a real treat in store and should pick up a copy of this book and immerse yourself in it immediately. No really, stop reading this review and do it now.  From its title, drawn from a kerbside conversation in Garston before a mural of Spanish Civil War veteran and trade union leader, Jack Jones, and its subtly adapted John Lennon lyric subtitle, Reade launches into a powerful and principled ... View Full Review
The Joy and Light Bus Company
Mma. Ramotswe may have a tiny white van that is kept on the road by her devoted husband, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, and not a tank, but when she parks it on your lawn, you know you’re in trouble. Not that this is a key part of this particular story, but it is a rare act of challenge to an unfortunate character that comes to Mma. Ramotswe’s attention as she ponders on the happiness of men, the lateness of her much loved father and J.L.B Matekoni’s troubling new foray into business ... View Full Review
Just One More Drive
Personal memoirs are complex to write and often hard to read.  Some fall at the first hurdle by coming across as self obsessed, the author expecting readers to buy into a sort of self-therapy in print. Others can be too revelatory, when the author has failed to exercise any sense of self-editing and allows the urge to confess all, or explain minutiae, to get in the way of the wider story. They can, at worst, be self-indulgent tracts, of interest only to the writer. Robert James’ O’Brien’s wonderful Just One More Drive is none ... View Full Review
Beer Stained Pulp
“Tegestologist?” I hear you question. What the h***’s a tegestologist?  Well simply put it’s a collector of beer mats and the term comes from teges, the Latin for a covering or mat. But more on this later. Back in 2018 Adam Kimberly created an Instagram account to showcase his collection of ‘nicely designed beer mats from the past’ as he puts in it his brief introduction. Now, in this slim volume, he has selected the more fun, unusual and iconic mats and so has curated a superb slice of British history.  ... View Full Review
The Swift and the Harrier
Any new story by Minette Walters is grounds for great rejoicing and The Swift and The Harrier, her fourth historical fiction, is an impeccable stand alone that, from the opening eight words “As the hour for the priests’ execution approached…” holds you in its thrall until the very last word of the final line. Set 1642, in Dorset, tensions between friends and neighbours reflect the mood of the nation, as allegiance to the King and Crown confronts the rising tide of Parliamentarianism and bloody war stalks the land. Jayne Swift is a trained and talented physician, from ... View Full Review
Her New Best Friend
Fans of Batchelor’s well-received debut will instantly recognise her ability to have you on the edge of your seat right from the very first page of this, her second foray into her trademark brand of domestic noir. With beautifully filmic opening scenes that play on the worst fears of every parent, this story segues smoothly into a world where the nature of friendships, the foundations of trust and the room for deception in friendships have terrifying potential consequences. Bachelor’s particular talent is for the excellent plotting of a gripping tale set in immediately recognisable situations, and ... View Full Review
The Pathfinders
From the opening pages describing the BBC outside broadcast recording of a nightingale singing in cellist Beatrice Harrison’s garden in Surrey as bombers pass overhead en route to Germany, Iredale makes it clear that he has done the work and is truly engaged with and passionate about his subject. From every small detail that he includes - the bombers mentioned above were heading for Mannheim and the BBC broadcast was cancelled for fear that it would warn the Nazis of their arrival – it is clear that Iredales’s aim is to honour and record the bravery ... View Full Review
Love and Care
For centuries much has been written about a mother’s love for her son, fewer words have been dedicated to the reverse. When his controlling elderly father becomes a danger to his aged mother, Shaun Deeney takes the decision to place his mother in a charming care home. Later, following his father’s sudden death, he takes the unusual decision to remove her from the care home and to provide for her himself, in the family home, with the assistance of paid-for carers. So unheard of is this, the care home themselves have never heard of anyone doing ... View Full Review
Old Testament Warriors
Dr. Elliott states in his introduction to this fascinating volume that his ambition is bold; “…to detail conflict from the beginning of warfare itself in the Near East and Middle East from around 9000 BC through to the onset of the Classical period around 500 BC.” Bold indeed, and delivered in such crisp and well ordered chapters that Old Testament Warriors is as much master class in concision as it is admirable in its comprehensiveness. Starting out with clear definitions for how humanity has organised settlements and communities, to what warfare is, “the extreme end of organised aggression&... View Full Review
Looking for the Durrells
The Durrell family and their writings have been a source of wonder and inspiration to book illustrator, Penny, since her Father read Gerald Durrell’s “Corfu trilogy” to, and with, her when she was young.  Now an enduring bond between them as his life nears its end, when the dread day comes, Penny, grieving and needing time and space, embarks on the promise that she and her dad couldn’t fulfil together, a Durrells’ pilgrimage. Suffused throughout with the scent of flowers, lemon and garlic and the dual salves of sunshine and sea, Hewitt&... View Full Review
Circles a Clover
Egan’s finely tuned skill as a storyteller seduces you. Right from the opening chapter he sets up a delicious, nerve-tingling sense of foreboding, with references that range from Game of Thrones and mushroom clouds to Afghanistan, Iraq and the impending end of the world. He doesn’t so much hook you into his imagined world, as gently caress a net around you, coaxing you onto each page after the next. And what a story he tells.  Plucky, thoughtful Kyle Halfpenny, year 11,  lives with her Dad who is either a mad drunk or prescient seer. She ... View Full Review