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ajk77 "ajk77" (london)

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Honeybee's Busy Day
Honeybee's Busy Day
by Richard Fowler
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars World of Books replaced original faulty item, thanks, 18 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Honeybee's Busy Day (Hardcover)
World of Books replaced the original faulty item, thanks.

The book is a gem. I wish these were back in print.


Gilead
Gilead
by Marilynne Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, gentle and sad, 14 Feb 2012
This review is from: Gilead (Paperback)
This is not for those seeking action-packed plots but it is a simple beautiful tale of an old man trying to sum up his life, beliefs, experience for a son he will not live to see reach adulthood.


The Land of Painted Caves
The Land of Painted Caves
by Jean M. Auel
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly abysmal, 14 Feb 2012
Don't buy this. Don't read this. You will REALLY regret it.

Very badly written. Repeats plot chunks from earlier books with the odd name change. All characters have had full personality lobotomies. And the problem of the last 3 books whereby she keeps regurgitating the plots of the previous tomes in synopsis makes this tedious beyond belief. Quite apart from the fact that absolutely nothing actually happens.

Synopsis: visits a cave, sees some people, visits another cave... repeat ten times till she gets a zelandoni tattoo while we all die of boredom.


The Death of Kings (Emperor Series, Book 2)
The Death of Kings (Emperor Series, Book 2)
by Conn Iggulden
Edition: Paperback

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Needs clear flagging as fantasy, 2 Oct 2011
This book takes place in a parallel universe that bears significantly less ressemblance to classical roman history than the comic book Asterix.

Why can't Igulden write about fictional characters like Simon Scarrow so he can fantasise without being so gratingly irritating? Or make it proper fantasy by putting in clear impossibilities like wristwatches so everyone knows that's where we are...

The central premise of this series is that Brutus and Caesar are raised together. Given that Brutus was 15 years younger and the son of Caesar's mistress, this is laughable.

The author owns up that Mithridates was killed by Pompey, but doesnt mention that this occured an awful lot later. He thinks Caesar would have chosen to be in on the Spartacus event - whereas the reverse is far more likely, no glory to be had in defeating slaves. If he had and there had been any chance of making it sound good, he'd have written it up himself as he usually did.

I can't face reading any more though it would be amusing to see how he manages Caesar's habit of murdering women, children and old people in Gaul, the decimation he himself carried out, his notorious lechery (home we bring the bald whoremonger, romans lock your wives away...)and inordinate love of money. In this parallel world, he's probably buddy mates with Cicero and father to Jesus Christ, he probably conquers Britain too.

I'm horrified that I gave these to my son thinking they were historical fiction rather than fantasy.
And having enjoyed his Mongol series, this has made me realise that I now need to go and correct impressions he has given me that are likely to be 80-90% wrong.


If Not Now, When? (Penguin Modern Classics)
If Not Now, When? (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Primo Levi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and captivating, 10 Feb 2009
This novel is thoroughly researched by a highly sympathetic author. The writing is compelling and the subject matter less familiar than his holocaust material.


The Swissmakers ( Les Faiseurs de Suisse ) ( Die Schweizermacher )
The Swissmakers ( Les Faiseurs de Suisse ) ( Die Schweizermacher )
Dvd ~ Emil Steinberger
Offered by IH Reiss
Price: £28.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is FILM not MUSIC, 12 Aug 2008
Track listings appearing against this title are spurious. This is a film about the process of trying to gain swiss nationality. It is the funniest film I have ever seen about Switzerland, and it's actually of Swiss make. Horribly believable and side-splitting.


Homo Faber (Penguin Modern Classics)
Homo Faber (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Max Frisch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great modern classic, 11 Aug 2008
I studied this for German A-level in Switzerland and it's a great novel about the illusoriness of our control over our environment and the challenge of living generally.

The hero is not initially sympathetic, at least to a disorderly englishwoman like myself, but becomes increasingly more appealing as events push him further and further from his normal routine self.

The novel is genuinely thought-provoking and well-written.


Tom Brown's School Days
Tom Brown's School Days
by Thomas Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost incomprehensible to 21st century kids, 31 July 2008
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Almost incomprehensible to 21st century children, 9 Nov 2000

I was raised abroad as a child (I'm now nearly 50) and read it along with all my parents books. I found it old-fashioned then and not many of my contemporaries knew it.

My father had it because he & the other boys in the family went to Rugby. The ghastly piety is particularly difficult as modern tastes in social behaviour and indeed religion have changed so much.

The best reason for wading through it (skipping the first chapter) is so as to enjoy George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman novels afterwards.


The Periodic Table (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Periodic Table (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Primo Levi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carphone Warehouse Book Club's favorite read in 2007, 31 July 2008
The unusual form of the book, each chapter relating to an element of the periodic table (not every element is included), to tell the tale of a chemist's life is highly effective. The content reinforces the form and the form the content to give a really high quality novel.

This was our group's favorite book by a modest lead over Lolita and The Master and Margarita. It is beautiful and moving and much more enjoyable than his good but harrowing Auschwitz tales.

Please do not be put off by the slow start - Argon is a very thin, rare gas and this chapter is one of the least engaging perhaps for that reason. Iron was most people's favorite element.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2009 6:34 PM GMT


Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1)
Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1)
by Stephen Donaldson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing, 31 July 2008
The opening chapters make you sit up and think... a leper hero what a great idea, something really good is going to come out of this. Unfortunately it doesn't, the character stumbles through events that have no coherence in a world that has not been well thought out. The guy is unsympathetic, which may be deliberate but does not suit the fantasy genre well. And the quality of writing does nothing to compensate for these disadvantages.

One of the few books I've finished feeling angry with the author, and it put me off trying anything else of his for ages. Read the 2-volume Mordaunt's Need instead of these as he did better there.


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