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Lost in a Good Book: Thursday Next Book 2
Lost in a Good Book: Thursday Next Book 2
by Jasper Fforde
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as 'The Eyre Affair', I can't wait for the next in the series..., 13 May 2008
I am pleased to report that this book was even better than `The Eyre Affair'. I felt more engaged with Thursday, the plot was just as exciting and the clever humour was still there. If you haven't done so already I would definitely suggest reading `The Eyre Affair' first as this book continues the series. Unlike `The Eyre Affair' I probably wouldn't suggest any pre-requisite reading. There is no specific book and if you come across a reference you don't understand you can always look it up later if you really want. I have to admit that my knowledge of Dickens does not stretch beyond `A Christmas Carol' yet I still found the numerous references highly amusing. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.


Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure
Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure
by Dave Gorman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining tale about how far a man will go to avoid work..., 24 April 2008
This was an enjoyable book to read. It's a book that just goes to show how many truly interesting people there are out there on the internet. It's often a book about unbelievable coincidences and how taking a chance can take you all over the Globe. It's also a book about one man's attempt to avoid working, something I can sympathise with!

The pace of the book is good, particularly towards the end where the chapters are often only 2-3 pages long and it becomes a parade of entertaining, unusual and genuinely intriguing people. And it's definitely the people that make this book enjoyable and entertaining, rather than Gorman's need to complete this book. If anything, his constant attempts to engage our sympathy are a down point, if only a minor one.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Gorman's other books. I would also recommend this to anyone after a light and entertaining read. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone who finds works-shy people even the tiniest bit annoying.


Mother Tongue: The English Language
Mother Tongue: The English Language
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Paperback

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not for everyone, 16 April 2008
I liked this book. It is written with Bryson's usual witty and engaging style. It is a book that is absolutely of the high standard any reader of Bryson's previous books will have come to expect.

Having said that, this book is certainly not for everyone, even if you have thoroughly enjoyed many of Bryson's previous offerings. I have an amateur's interest in language and this book provided me with an informative introduction to its history and quirky nature. If you are not interested in the subject I think you will probably find this book very dull indeed.

There are some downsides to bare in mind, even for those with an avid interest. Firstly, it contains lots of list of words in the text which can be tedious, to the point where I was skipping whole paragraphs to get to the point. The second is that this book was written nearly 20 years ago and those with a background knowledge will realise that it is out of date in parts. This need not be a bad thing, as it stimulated me to consider how the English language has evolved in my lifetime.


The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)
by Jasper Fforde
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If you like a book that requires you to leave all sense of reality behind then this book is for you..., 31 Mar. 2008
This is just my sort of book. The humour in it is just right, the action is well paced and the writing is clever. It's the sort of book where you have to leave all sense of reality behind because Fforde creates a familiar but completely different world in which the Crimean War is still raging after 131 years, genetic engineering has been taken to a new level and the lines between reality and fiction are soft. I don't want to spoil it too much because part the joy of this book is discovering all there is to discover about this parallel reality.

I consider myself to be well-read but I have to admit I haven't read `Jane Eyre'. Nor have I seen any TV or film adaptations of it so I'm not entirely sure how I knew the plot but luckily I did. If you don't know the plot of `Jane Eyre' I would advise you to brush up on it before reading this book, it will only add to your understanding. Having said that, a synopsis of the plot as it is in the parallel reality is provided 2/3 of the way through the book so it is possible to follow the plot even without knowing `Jane Eyre'.

There are a lot of jokes in the book for those with a wide knowledge of literature. There are also jokes to do with science and a great many other subjects to keep those with little or no knowledge of literature amused. No one is going to get every joke, but that definitely shouldn't put anyone off.

If like me you like a clever read and you are willing to leave your sense of reality behind for the duration then I would definitely recommend this book to you. I was impressed and I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series. As Fforde's writing style becomes more settled and the world he creates becomes more recognisable to the reader, his books can only get better.


Long Way Down
Long Way Down
by Charley Boorman
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read but be prepared for low quality writing, 19 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
It is obvious from the start of this book that Ewan and Charley are not authors and it shows in the quality of the writing, even more than in LWR. At times it feels rushed, probably because they needed to get the book out in time for Christmas. On top of this, the testosterone driven bickering in the camp takes up far more space in the book than it should. This leaves less room for the things we want to read about like the beautiful landscapes and the extraordinary people they meet along the way.

Despite this list of complaints, the story they tell is compelling. The charity visits they describe left me feeling emotional but with a sense of hope that help is being provided where it is most needed. At other times they are interacting with locals, often a slightly nervous manner. It's these moments that make the book worth reading.

In summary I would say that this is worth a read but be prepared for the clichéd, slightly rushed writing.


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