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Timothy De Ferrars (France)
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Le Passager (LITT.GENERALE) (French Edition)
Le Passager (LITT.GENERALE) (French Edition)
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and clever - a masterpiece, 13 Feb. 2016
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It's difficult to review this book without committing a spoiler. So forgive me if I skip the usual plot synopsis and just say that this is an extraordinary backwards journey through the disjointed identities of the protagonist. It's a story that unfolds not only through events, but through an excavation of his previous life by a character who is as ignorant of his past as an archaeologist of discoveries that await beneath the undisturbed earth.
I love this writer: he takes risks; he stretches coincidence; but he brings the reader with him every step of the way. This is a colossal tale of intrigue; of paranoid, labyrinthine twists and strange jumps. But it never misses a beat or leaves the tiniest loose end.
I should say that I read this in the French edition so can't speak of the translated edition. But for an Anglophone like me who is trying to find books that are genuinely rewarding and which improve my French - in fact engross me so much that I forget that I am reading French - this has been perfect.


Airfix A20005 Engineer Jet Engine Educational Construction Kit
Airfix A20005 Engineer Jet Engine Educational Construction Kit
Price: £25.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste money on this unless you are a masochist, 25 Dec. 2015
The instructions are worse than bad - they are wrong and misleading, particularly for the wiring. We just had to sit down and work it out. It took hours, and it was painful rather than fun. We haven't completed it yet, so I can't comment on the finished item, but this is by far the worst waste of a Christmas day afternoon that I can remember. Why spend all that money on developing and marketing a product and not bother to explain how to put it together? Baffling.


A Brief History of Seven Killings: WINNER of the Man Booker Prize 2015
A Brief History of Seven Killings: WINNER of the Man Booker Prize 2015
by Marlon James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This might be a good book to read at the start of a long ..., 4 Dec. 2015
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Why use one word when a thousand will do? Why show off dozens of literary voices and styles, and burn your way through pages and pages and hours and hours of your readers' time when you haven't actually got much of a story? This might be a good book to read at the start of a long prison sentence, but for those of you who are free I won't recommend it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2015 10:45 PM GMT


Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20)
Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why do I keep reading these novels?, 30 Sept. 2015
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The puff says: Jack Reacher has no place to go. It might as well read: Lee Child has no place to go. These novels ran out of road years ago. Let me give you the plot (SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYTHING LEE CHILD EVER PUBLISHES IN THE FUTURE):
Jack Reacher is tall and violent, but yet moral; he stumbles randomly on a problem that has somehow eluded the police/FBI/military police [delete as appropriate]; at the same time, a sexually-available female has stumbled on the same thing; they copulate and beat the baddies.
Ta-da!
Just imagine that you could churn this out by the yard and make millions. Well Lee Child does that is his day job.
What in detail would I criticise in this book? The extraordinary sloppiness, even by Lee Child's standards. We get the full 9 yards of process-writing: took a flight; took a taxi; booked into a motel; had breakfast (detailed menu choice always enumerated); had a shower; used toothbrush; wore clothes; replaced clothes; had sex (always sensational); showered again; hit someone; took a taxi to get new toothbrush; etc.
But this book has a layer of rubbish detail, unexplained and irrelevant to the plot. Such as the advice when visiting ER with symptoms of concussion to explain that you are "a coder" which means that you will jump the queue. The narrative is peppered with similar lazy blind alleys.
This is another terrible effort by a best-selling author and I exhort you not to waste your money on it.


Table Talk: Sweet And Sour, Salt and Bitter
Table Talk: Sweet And Sour, Salt and Bitter
by Adrian Gill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money. The editors have stripped out the ..., 4 Sept. 2015
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Save your money. The editors have stripped out the context and we are left with...what? Nothing: nothing to identify the restaurant or even the year of the review. Most of the references to food have been redacted, which leaves us with Gill and his mankini ego; nothing else. Nothing. This is the most pointless book that I own. I feel the need to burn it and donate a month's wages to charity to put things right.
Do not buy this book. Just don't.


A Multitude of Sins: Golden Brown, The Stranglers and Strange Little Girls
A Multitude of Sins: Golden Brown, The Stranglers and Strange Little Girls
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull. Repetitive, 4 Sept. 2015
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Oh dear.
I'm a Stranglers fan and I know that Hugh Cornwell is a bright bloke who should be able to write in prose as well as he has written his songs. He can't. This is an ill-judged train-smash of a book. Dull. Repetitive. Humdrum. Confused. Unstructured. Badly done. Poorly edited. In short everything that the Stranglers weren't.
Avoid.


American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Price: £5.35

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Despicable, 30 July 2015
A sickening book. Chris Kyle doesn't bother to hide behind the usual justification that he was just doing his job. He clearly relishes the chance to kill people by the dozen, describing them as savages and dressing up his homicidal campaign as "payback", whatever that means. He executes the thick end of 200 people and then blubs like a child when just one of his buddies is killed. Pathetic.
It's actually quite readable but I can't bring myself to give it a second star for that - it would be like rating pornography more highly because the pictures are in focus.
Despicable. This book and its nasty message left a very unpleasant taste in my mouth: the message being that if your leader decides to invade a country halfway around the world, the citizens who live there are automatically degraded to the status of vermin that need to be destroyed without mercy.


Tis The Season
Tis The Season
Dvd

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading the Bosch books, 17 July 2015
This review is from: Bosch - Season 1 (Amazon Video)
I enjoyed reading the Bosch books, but they don't lend themselves to instant facsimile into film: the only strong character in the books is after all Bosch himself, and that just isn't enough to sustain a whole series of TV adaptation, let alone series 2 and more.
There's a lot that is good about this: the cinematography is outstanding - and even the titles deserve an award - but in the end, none of the other actors, strong as they were, got much of a look-in because the whole schtick is Bosch-Bosch-Bosch. We have dined off a diet of so much more sophisticated box-set TV in recent years that this is just grindingly one-dimensional.
I think that no matter how much money and good talent they pump into Bosch-the-movie, it is doomed by its lack of strong characters who can play against than the eponymous and obvious one. It just doesn't have legs.


A Good Man in Africa
A Good Man in Africa
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Savagely funny. This could be the product of an unholy ..., 10 July 2015
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Savagely funny. This could be the product of an unholy collaboration between Graham Greene and Tom Sharpe. Morgan Leafy, bumbling diplomat, leaves a trail of sexual and political chaos as he stumbles his way to an improbable status of Good Man in Africa. I hope the author finds it in himself to return to Leafy: he is one of the great comic characters of post-colonial British fiction.


Disclaimer
Disclaimer
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister, compelling and beautifully written, 23 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Disclaimer (Kindle Edition)
Disclaimer is a gripping and sinister study of our tendency to judge, and it sets a clever moral test for the reader. The central character Catherine's life unravels with appalling speed as events that she had thought were safely in her past suddenly overtake her, shattering her family and destroying her career. The invisible force behind her downfall is a complete stranger, driven by unbearable loss, who publishes a novel in which Catherine is the key player in a damning tale of lust and betrayal. The novel mockingly declares that any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental, but it inflicts irreversible damage on her, her family and her reputation.
What follows is unexpected and beautifully told. I can't remember when I enjoyed a book so much: it comfortably passed my test of a good book, which is that you think about it when you are away from it, and fret about returning to its pages.
A tremendous debut from a very talented writer.


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