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AJD (England)

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Ordinary Thunderstorms
Ordinary Thunderstorms
by William Boyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller with depth, 14 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Ordinary Thunderstorms (Paperback)
The first thing to say about this book is that it is a real thriller, I finished it very quickly and its many twists and turns do not disappoint! That aside, it is also a very convincing depiction of life in London today. I found the sections of the book based on the council estate in Rotherhithe and at the pentecostal-type Church to be extremely accurate depictions of modern British life. The book is a thriller at heart, but it is the depictions of the ex-soldier struggling to fit into society, the isolation experienced by those living on one of Britain's most deprived council estates and the growing influence of radical new charismatic churches in London, that will stay with the reader for some time to come.


A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration
A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration
by Jenny Uglow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.25

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read, 13 Feb. 2010
This is one of the most readable credible history books I have ever read, and having studied history at university, I have read quite a few. My knowledge about this particular period of British history was not particularly strong, but by the end of this book I really felt I had a good understanding of what the 1660s were like in Britain. Perhaps a little more information on the lives of ordinary people would have been nice, but to be fair that was not the purpose of this book. This book is a fantastic story of Kingship and the Royal court, and the remarkable women who were such a feature of Charles II's court. The 1660s were clearly an incredible time in Britain's history, well worthy of having an entire book devoted to the decade, and Jenny Uglow transports you to Charles' court so vividly that you feel almost as if you were. If only.


The Private Patient (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery)
The Private Patient (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery)
by P.D. James
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slight letdown..., 20 April 2009
After reading P.D James's last book, 'The Lighthouse', which was one of her best ever, my hopes were high for her latest offering. Sadly, it doesn't quite live up to 'The Lighthouse', the pace is a little slack at times and it doesn't succeed in creating the claustrophobic atmosphere that so successfully pervades most of James's crime novels. The ending was a definite anticlimax, and not entirely plausible, and the subplot involving a rape felt entirely unnecessary. However, it is still a cut above the average crime novel, and James's depiction of her characters remains as vivid as ever. Hopefully she'll be back on form with her next book, I'll certainly be buying it.


Tatie Danielle [ English subtitles ] [DVD] [1991]
Tatie Danielle [ English subtitles ] [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ André Wilms
Price: £19.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic dark french comedy, 20 April 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I searched this dvd out recently as I remembered watching it at school years ago and finding it hilarious at the time. Needless to say, it didn't quite live up to my memory of it, but it was still very funny! The pace was a little slack at times, but the excellent acting, particularly by Tsilla Chelton in the title role, more than made up for it. It's current price is also very reasonable for such an old and relatively obscure (in England at least) movie.


Armadale (Penguin Classics)
Armadale (Penguin Classics)
by Wilkie Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Victorian Epic, 19 April 2009
I came to Armadale after reading the Woman in White, which I had very much enjoyed. The Woman in White was a victorian sensationalist masterpiece, but I think that Armadale just about manages to surpass it, if only through its sheer scale. The action in the novel takes place across several decades, and stretches from the West Indies to a German spa town, to Naples and England. By the end of the novel I truly felt that Collins had taken me on an epic journey through the victorian world.

The character of Lydia Gwilt is quite possibly the best female character to appear in nineteenth century fiction. She is an endlessly fascinating figure, and by far the strongest character in the book. Many of the other characters are also very interesting, though perhaps a little clichéd.

There are a few flaws, the theme of fatalism is somewhat overdone at times, and frankly the book would be better without the recurring problem of 'the dream', however useful it was as a plot device. It is also fair to say that the pace in the first half sometimes slackens, but it is never dull. I raced through the last two hundred pages, reading into the small hours, and I can promise that the climax does not disappoint, even if you did (sort of) wish for a different ending, as I did. I shall definitely be reading the rest of Collins' work, next up the Moonstone!


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