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The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. Salinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Annoying. Just annoying, dull and boring, 21 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
When you read a classic you can generally tell why it's been given the 'classic' status. But I fail to understand why this is such a good book.

From the first chapter I failed to sympathise or empathise with the main character, or any of the other characters as a matter of fact, they just irritated me no end. I felt the story was meant to follow Holden as he did a bit of soul searching and tried to find his own place in society. To the contrary, all I saw was a deeply troubled character (and not the type you can understand such as Hamlet) who was deeply offensive and a bit of a layabout. I was hoping that by the end there'd be an ending where he actually realises some self-actualisation or comes to grip with the way society is or even changes something about society, alas it ends on the same level of apathy that it started out on. Basically we'd been caught up in a story which goes nowhere and does nothing but revels in the emotional turmoil of some woebegone teen.

I suppose the only grounds that this book works is that the character is obviously written well enough to get the reader feeling angry.
However, I would probably suggest reading Hamlet instead - at least it offers a bit more drama...

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricately beautiful and intensely moving, 21 Feb. 2012
Safran Foer has created a masterpiece with this 326 page novel. The beautifully constructed characters effectively grab the reader and pull you into their world which you don't want to let go of.

Two stories run parallel to each other.

The first of a nine year old boy struggling to come to terms with the loss of his much loved father in the 9/11 terrorist attack, an event which resonates not only across his own family but across the entire city. We're swept into the tale as the boy figuratively brings his father back to life by recreating one of his and his father's best activities - a puzzle trail. Finding a key in his father's closet, Oskar makes it his mission to discover the truth behind the secrets which lay behind the locked door to which the key belongs to. However, it becomes progressively clear that the key is a metaphor for him finding a way through his grieving state and making peace with himself.

The second is of his grandfather, the man who walked out on his wife and son who struggles to cope with his own physical and mental scars of another devastating event - the world war. We follow as the man trapped in his own eternity of silence comes to terms with the trauma in his past life and struggles to make the necessary connections with his loved ones in the present one.

It is written in an unconventional style that almost welcomes you into the novel and I can guarantee you won't want to put it down. It is definitely a must-read.

The Woman In Black
The Woman In Black
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Woman of your Nightmares, 12 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Woman In Black (Paperback)
Susan Hill takes traditional horror setting and rejuvenates it in this chilling novella.

It has all the stereotypical requirements of a horror: a Miss Havisham character with a motive for revenge, the haunted house that no-one dares approach, and the hushed rumours all circulating the Eel Marsh House.

Yet Hill takes this theme and produces a chilling tale which will keep you up long after your bedtime...

One Day
One Day
by David Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.00

3.0 out of 5 stars A completely frustrating end., 28 Jan. 2012
This review is from: One Day (Paperback)
Having heard this was a bestseller to be turned into a movie and with a cover full of raving reviews, I thought I must read it. However, I can honestly say I was a little disappointed.

The good points:-
- the character's were well developed and atypical to your normal stars of a romantic novel.
- the layout of the book and the return to the same day year after year was originally and you could really see the development of the characters over time.
- from the first page you think you've got the story pegged, but it doesn't follow the stereotypical storyline one expects.
- it's refreshing to read a romance book from a male author
- you want to read until the end as it doesn't fill in all details until the end.
- I do think this will make women think 'I am or I have been Emma Morley and I know a Dexter'.

The bad points:-
- I developed little sympathy for either of the characters in this. I thought Dexter who was clearly meant to be portrayed as the popular sort who won over hearts and has a mass of charisma, failed to win over my heart. Instead I thought he was a self-obsessed man with little love for anyone but himself. He genuinely didn't deserve the quiet and reserved Emma. In addition to that you felt a little anger for Emma for being trodden over so much and putting up with it. You usually expect to want a romance to happen between the lead characters, but I wanted little more than for Emma to get her own back on him.
- some of the directions the plot took were just irrelevant and didn't seem to quite fit, particularly during the time Emma spent as a teacher.
- the shock ending angered me and I desperately wanted it to end the opposite way(!). It also seemed to pay little attention to the shock ending and glossed over it in my opinion.

To conclude, it really wasn't my cup of tea but if there is one thing that this book does - it gets you engaging a whole different array of emotions you wouldn't expect from a romance novel. It is by no means a typical chick-lit book.


3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job., 10 Jan. 2012
When browsing through phone cases this one seemed to be exactly what I wanted. However, when it arrived I was disappointed that there were a lack of instructions. It is fairly self evident how to use it but when I tried to get the stylus out of the black casing it refused to give, so I was left puzzled about how to use it. When I finally managed to get it out, within a month the tip of the stylus was broken off and the silver casing around the base of the stylus is now showing wear and not to mention the extendable stylus body refuses to stay extended and no longer wants to lock into place. The plastic sheet was made redundant as it appears to just be an additional screen cover which I already have on the phone. The one redeemable feature is the case itself which snugly fits the phone and does seem to offer protection but unfortunately I have received complaints from callers who seem to be unable to hear me, a non-existent problem prior to putting the casing on.

However, considering the price, the package does seem to be adequate but lacks durability.

Haunted Love (Free short story)
Haunted Love (Free short story)
Price: £0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twilight + Paranormal Activity = ???!, 10 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I downloaded this book essentially because it was free and I was eager to explore some new authors.

Unfortunately from the opening page I knew where the story was going, which is perhaps not atypical for short stories, but I immediately considered putting the book down. But if I had done that I would have missed the author's attempts to make the story unexpected. Suddenly I felt as if I'd entered a novella which dragged aspects from 'Twilight' and 'Paranormal Activity' and threw them together adding a dash of misplaced gore and this was the end result. And to be honest, I just did not get it. I think sticking to the expectations of an old tried and tested horror method would have been far more appealing than this.

However, I did find the length a comfortably short read and if it dropped the vampire aspect it might have had the premise of being a half decent plot.

The Bell Jar (FF Classics)
The Bell Jar (FF Classics)
Price: £4.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Brilliance, 5 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Always interested in reading psychological literature, this one perhaps tops them all.

The first part of the book seemed off putting to me as I felt it may be yet another tale of a female stuck in the fashion world, a self-obsessed character who I would fail to empathise with. But I wholly admit I was completely wrong. The fashion setting introduces Esther as a young, ambitious and inspirational character on the pathway to fulfilling a dream career. The cracks, however, begin to show as her deterioration of her mental state is reflected in her increasing lack of motivation and development of apathy.

The story proves more compelling as we follow the character's frustration about psychiatric practices and her coming to terms with her mental illness.

Overall this book is a fantastic read though perhaps not if you're looking for a happy cheery book...

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