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A Feast for Crows (Reissue) (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
A Feast for Crows (Reissue) (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary instalment of the series, 27 Nov 2013
For all followers of this series, unfortunately there is no choice but to continue with this book and there are already some very well-written negative reviews of this book but reading this book is such a waste of time that I had to put in my own two cents' worth.
After the pace and development of the first 3 books, this almost feels that it was written by someone else. There were too many secondary characters that appeared in their own single chapters only to die by that chapter or disappear, totally pointless. Who cares about them?? These characters just create clutter and this is highlighted by the fact that they don't even have their names on the chapter titles except for so and so knight etc. Only the stories of Jaime and Cersei Lannister continue to be relevant and somewhat interesting.

While I have to admit that this series is addictive I will not be reading any more books from George RR Martin, the way he writes about the characters and the sometimes sordid sexual elements should be in a commercial fiction novel and not under the cloak of fantasy, those who say he is another Tolkien are sorely mistaken and have nothing more original to say no doubt. Mr Martin is way too indulgent with himself on this book and instead of appreciating his readers, this just feels like a cynical attempt to prolong the series and as a result we have to suffer his rambling ons.

This Charming Man
This Charming Man
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious book, 22 Jan 2013
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)
I really enjoyed other books from Marian Keyes but this one is not worthy of her talent at all. Way too long at close to 900 pages, I felt that the first couple of hundred passed by as though I had read nothing of the story at all. There are no characters that are worth rooting for, even the strongest one still felt an attraction to the 'charming man', knowing how he previously beat her own sister to a pulp. It makes women look really bad and good for nothing except to pine away for a man that abuses them.
Disliked the story immensely, could not wait to drop it off to the charity shop. Please spend the time instead to read many many other more worthwhile books.

The Perfect Present
The Perfect Present
by Karen Swan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story telling, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Perfect Present (Paperback)
I thought this might be a light 'chick-lit' type of book but was pleasantly surprised by how well-written it turned out to be. It is touching and from the first page, very engaging. There is actually a proper development of a story and also of quite a few characters and their lives. So many female authors produce very shallow central female characters who are not worth reading about at all, and although Laura the central character of this story has her annoying moments, in the end the author makes it understandable.
It is a very enjoyable read and the only thing I would have liked to have is to have more written about the development of the romance between Laura and Rob Blake. I will be reading more books of Ms Karen Swan.

The Stranger's Child
The Stranger's Child
by Alan Hollinghurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious reading, 18 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Stranger's Child (Paperback)
I had no previous knowledge of this author and chose this book based on its premise, I thought it would be a beautifully written English novel. Indeed the writing itself cannot be faulted but the story is a totally different matter. It is aimless, made the English upper classes totally unlikeable with their idiotic snobbish ways and no characters worth caring about.The thing I was quite put off about was the number of gay characters-is every male character in this book gay? It just made the story too strange.

I was tempted to just stop reading altogether but had to keep pushing myself to read it. The only saving grace of this story is that it was broken into different periods of time and that made it interesting to see what happened to the characters through time. If it hadn't been written that way, it would have been unbearable to read through the droning of the author. Not a book to waste precious time on.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2012 6:56 PM BST

Lucrezia Borgia (Women In History)
Lucrezia Borgia (Women In History)
by Maria Bellonci
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.84

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much information, 11 May 2011
While I appreciate the research work that went into writing this book, for the normal layperson who just wants to know more about the history of the Borgias, this book contains way too much details on all characters found in the book. I do mean that literally the reader has to read about the background on all minor characters, which gets really tedious after a few chapters.
There is not much focus on Lucrezia herself, which is whole reason I chose this book. The author takes care to substantiate all her writing with facts but this makes for very dry reading and I think a history text book would be more interesting.
This book would be more suitable for someone doing academic reading or writing some assignment on this topic.

Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea
by Barbara Demick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading, 10 Mar 2011
There is no shortage of excellent reviews for this book and probably most things have already been said but I enjoyed reading this book so much that I wanted to write this review to share my thoughts on what a great job Barbara Demick has done with her research and the writing of this book.
It makes you appreciate the daily things most of us take for granted such as food and also the freedom to decide things for ourselves.I highly recommend this book for its unique subject and easy to read writing style. I could not put it down and the only thing I would like to have known is more recent updates of the situation for people in North Korea.

One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand - An Inspiring True Story
One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand - An Inspiring True Story
by Pen Farthing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly moving, 2 Feb 2011
I wasn't sure about reading about the military aspects of this book at first, however the writer does well in the telling of his story that you slowly get absorbed into it. This book is definitely recommended for anyone who loves dogs and I was really blown away by the ending- it is so inspiring and really almost a fairy tale in the best sense of the word.
I hope Mr Farthing has more success with his amazing work and I wish him all the best.

The Museum of Innocence
The Museum of Innocence
by Orhan Pamuk
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.42

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling writing but terrible characters, 19 Jan 2011
Considering that this book is a translation, I found the writing to be smooth and engaging, almost as if this book was originally written in English. I was attracted to the premise of the story at first and found the first 200 pages to go by really quickly in some really interesting story telling set in Istanbul. I have been there but the Istanbul told through the author's eyes is a lot more attractive.

My main complaint is that this book should be at least a couple of hundred pages shorter, by the middle of this book I felt that the author was being overly self-indulgent in going on and on about the main character's obession with a woman and there is nothing romantic about this whatsoever. In any other normal story this man is simply pathetic and creepy. In fact I am driven to write this review due to my contempt for this character.
Anyway I would still rate this as a worthwhile book to read but you could almost just skim through the middle parts to avoid being frustrated by the mundane parts.

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