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Matt Pointon

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The Porcupine
The Porcupine
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of fiction?, 7 April 2003
This review is from: The Porcupine (Paperback)
To the normal reader, this is a well-penned novel reflecting upon the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. To someone who knows Bulgaria, it is something else entirely. That Mr. Barnes who only travelled here on holiday can write such a detailed novel which portrays the Bulgarian people and psyche to a level that is unbelievable. The youngsters who scream at the TV, the grandmother who knows that socialism shall eventually prevail, the unsure prosecuter and the very sure ex-President are all Bulgarians that I know. Yes, he changed the names, but that is all. Bulgaria is a fascinating country going through a fascinating period in history. It is just a shame that it is left to an Englishman to write about her history. Thankfully, Barnes fulfills this duty admirally.


Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £10.99

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written novel, but the philosophy...., 3 Aug. 2002
I read this book whilst travelling on a train though the increasingly affluent Communist China. That was perhaps apt. The book is extremely well-written with an entertaining plot. The fact that English was Rand's second-language makes it even more momentous. Her philosophy however, well it's a bit of a joke really really. Unconnected to the real world, and whilst has specks of truth is too idealistic to ever be true. He bad guys are mega bad and her good guys, (or gal), are mega-good. A bit cowboys and indians and I suppose some might say a bit too American. They'd be right, but remember, whilst the Lone Ranger and co might not be accurate, it's pretty good to read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2012 6:19 PM GMT


A Ride In The Neon Sun: A Gaijin in Japan
A Ride In The Neon Sun: A Gaijin in Japan
by Josie Dew
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't take any notice of the comments below, 20 April 2001
...Ms. Dew's comments are insightful and her style has certainly matured since Wind in my Wheels. I leant the book to a Japanese friend of mine whom is an English teacher and an avid cyclist. He loved it and found it a fascinating book. My only fault with it is it is perhaps a few pages too long, cut it by 50-100 pages and it would have got 5 stars


In Siberia
In Siberia
by Colin Thubron
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, 31 Oct. 2000
This review is from: In Siberia (Paperback)
My views seem to be the exact opposite of the Italian readers, after reading this book you start to realise what a vast and fascinating place Siberia is. Colin Thubron's style can be hard-going at times, but this is a hard place, and I would imagine that the average person who wishes to read about it prefers the depth of detail that writers such as Thubron and Jason Elliot offer as opposed to the readable, yet more superficial and easy-going style of authors such as Josie Dew. Mr Thubron really tries to bring to live to the reader the different mentalities that exist in Siberian consciousness and he gets as close as any Westerner can to their culture. I personally am saving up for my flight to Vladivostok!!


Siberian Dream
Siberian Dream
by Irina Pantaeva
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, 6 Oct. 2000
This review is from: Siberian Dream (Paperback)
I picked this book up in Japan not knowing what to expect. What I found was a moving true life story of a young girl who battled against the odds to get where she is today. Although tragic in places, it is also quite an uplifting book. For those who know even a little of the Soviet system with its strengths and weaknesses, then this book will ring true. If you like books like "Memoirs of a Geisha" then this is for you!


The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 3)
The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 3)
by C. S. Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great children's tale, 28 Aug. 2000
For some reason this is the one book that seems to be forgotten in the Narnia Chroncles. Perhaps this is because it doesn't really fit in with the genral stroyline of the rest and indeed only the very end is set in Narnia. However, in my mind its the best and the descriptions of the Calormenes, (based on the old Central Asian civilisations perhaps?), are great. Read it.


Seven Years in Tibet (Paladin Books)
Seven Years in Tibet (Paladin Books)
by Heinrich Harrer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and fascinating tale, 9 Aug. 2000
Picked up this book second hand as something a little bit different and to tell the truth I did not have high hopes. However, found it almost impossible to put down, now I want to visit Tibet myself! Unlike the film which disappointed me immensely, I feel that Harrer's naration was excellent and his views on the Tibet-China conflict were well-balanced. Whilst he undoubtedly did not favour the Chinese invasion, he does not pretend that all was perfect under the Dalai Lama also. A classic in travel-writing!


Cover Story
Cover Story
by Colin Forbes
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written book with an unexpected ending, 1 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Cover Story (Paperback)
I'm a bit of a Colin Forbes fan, but this is the best that I've read so far. You can clearly tell that he has researched this book well, and the story is strong and gripping. Never expected the ending!


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