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Gary R. Woodburn "garywoodburn"

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Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.72

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLOODY GOOD, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
Bleak desolate but ultimately uplifting. This strange brew of characters and situations is not your typical horror tale.It may be dipped in blood and have its gory moments but in the end it is character driven and revolves around relationships .
None of the relationships are healthy- we have bullies deserted by parents and society - sons deserted by mothers - sons deserted by fathers - lonely fragile people all. Perhaps there are one or two characters we could have done without - I think paring down the story would have driven it along quicker and any allusion to Stephen King by other reviewers is lost on me.
Then we have the central character of Eli a pathetic yet resilaint character doomed to wander the landscape seeking only to find a crumb of comfort from a life which has pushed too much on young shoulders. Indeed it is Elis story that that is most affecting - sad bitter and very very lonely.
Oskar and Eli the 2 main protagonists find cold comfort from each other in a cold landscape painted in chill colours.
I had to read the last 100 pages in one go just to see how it all played out. Don't get me wrong but it's abloody mess.

Stone Junction: An Alchemical Pot-Boiler
Stone Junction: An Alchemical Pot-Boiler
by Jim Dodge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.51

5.0 out of 5 stars stone in love with you..., 6 Feb 2008
I loved this book - plain simple and honest. One of the best bookS i have ever read. wildly transporting and full of the most interesting characters i have come across in any field of fiction. Reminded me a little of Even Cowgirls get the Blues - but far better writin and far more fun.

I can only say read it and go on a journey you will never forget. Lyrical - poetic - racy and full of invention.

No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no fun for old men, 6 Feb 2008
This review is from: No Country for Old Men (Paperback)
I had to read a few reviews before i set down to write one for a very good reason -i wanted to know If I was the only one who didnt know what happened.
Spoilers here - beware.
I will be the first to admit I have been reading way to many kids books of late- but I am fairly well read and enjoy a challenging read.However after a very slow start - I started to get into the meat of the piece. I found the characters enjoyable If a bit stupid in there actions. I mean if you find 2.4 million and you intend to keep it- you high tail as far from your hometown as you can and leave a blur behind your tail - you do not dawdle on the outskirts of the state and make life hard for yourself.
Then when i finally think Im getting to grips with his writing style the author starts making leaps in narrative with no explanation of what has just occured - He invests your time with the character and then drops him off the page. I am sure their is deeper reason for this but Im not studying the book at school so I dont want to over analyse his symbolic slaughter of everything that moves.
And the preachy sheriff - much too preachy and i have no idea what his job involved he just seemed to appear at murder scenes and did a little home spinning on the philosphy of we have all gone to hell in a hand basket kind. Well excuse me but i do not own a gun and if you want to stop folks being shot there's your first order of business.
Mildly enjoyable - slightly confusing and i will not be reaching for the authors back catologue - if you want a great fun read set in the mid west try Stone Junction - its great.

Hide And Seek
Hide And Seek
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars hide in plain site, 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: Hide And Seek (Paperback)
Not the best from rankin Ive read - however i have the problem that I bought the books out of order so probably started with some of his more polished work.Having said that the first book in the series read better.If you know theway Rankin writes its not too hard to spot the culprit but half the fun is making the educated guesses.
I have now got the entire Rebus stored away so as of the Black Books im looking forward to some reading order.

Strip Jack
Strip Jack
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stripped bare, 3 Sep 2007
This review is from: Strip Jack (Paperback)
I watched a documentary recently with Ian Rankin on BBC 4 I think and thought Id try a Rebus novel. I had picked a couple up in a charity shop so gave one (fleshmarket close) a try and loved it. Now im quite bad at collecting - in that once i have one i need them all - and now 4 weeks later ive finished my third Rebus - Strip Jack and am waiting for the last 2 through the mail.

I guess im trying to say - buy them and read them - i intend to read them all - over the next year or so.
Strip Jack is just as good as the others I read - though the first book (knots and crosses)- gives you a bit more insight into the character as it was probably written as a stand alone before Rankin got the nod from his publishers.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2011 3:43 PM GMT

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (New English library)
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (New English library)
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pick up the bat, 16 Mar 2006
My shelves seem to be weighed under with books - and at least two of them with King -so I was somewhat reluctant to read a story which the back cover described as having a basis in baseball. Ok I'd bought the book -I buy a lot - Im a collector. So it sat on the shelf for a while and every now and then I'd pick it up - toy with the idea of reading it and go on to something more 'substantial'.
Guess what? No big surprise - when I eventually got round to reading it I found I was once again drawn into Kings world - but with a difference. Tom Gordon has structure - simplicity and above all else a satisfying conclusion.
Too many of Kings books - much as love them - seem to flounder with plot and constructive endings.He seems to love the idea of the story but seem unable to resolve it for the reader.
This is why the short story is his medium in my opinion. He can plot and write vivid desciptions and not let his pen wander.
And this book is basically a novella - it deals with one very simple idea and works on it and grows it organically.
Sure it mentions baseball but its got nothing to do with the story which at its heart is about courage - fear and overcoming the odds.
You know what its about - so I wont spoil the detail. It's Kings best read in a long time - a mature read that made me -a 36 year old man - well up and almost - i said almost shed a tear.
Read it.

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
by Andrew Smith
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars REACH FOR THE MOON, 7 Mar 2006
In the years separating man from his last visit to the Moon , countless words have been written about what went on to get us there, what happened when we got there and when we're going back.
This book attempts to place in context all the trips and their relevance to us today in the 21st century. The author explores on a very human level what it meant for both the astronauts and those they left behind - family, friends and even us.
For whether we lived through the Appollo missions or like me were infants at the time - the impact the Moon landings had on all of us was and still is immense.
We may not have colonised space but our imaginations were allowed to grow and give free reign to dreams both technical and spiritual.
Without the Apollo flights there would be no Bill Gates, no Steve Jobs. Some would say great, but the world would be a far duller place. You probably wouldnt be reading this without the Moon Landings.
The author has written a potted social history of Apollo and hits the right note of being both fascinated and disenchanted by modern econimcs and its impingment on future Space Flight.
He touches on Politics, tourism and music but at the heart of the book lie the astonauts and there fascinating lives before and after the moon Landings. Some have disappeared from the public consciousness to pursue idealstic and cultural ideals others have embraced the stars and banners whirlwind touring of professional Moon Men - but all have intersting tales to tell.
Read the book - it may slow in parts but give it a go- stylistically it reads like a travelogue but it has great insight into Appollo - the human condition and the world we live in now.

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