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Anastasia Brown "Annie" (UK)

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Piggybook
Piggybook
by Anthony Browne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong message?, 11 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Piggybook (Paperback)
I tried so hard to like this book because I was told by the bookseller that it's 'a classic'. But I'm infuriated by the fact that here we have a story in which the drab wee wifie has clearly put up with her idle sexist husband and sons for at least (from the look of the boys) twelve whole years before even raising the issue of fairness in the house, let alone rebelling. What sort of message is that for its readers, both female and male? So - not on my gift list, I'm afraid.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2012 9:55 AM GMT


Gorilla
Gorilla
by Anthony Browne
Edition: Paperback

1 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unthought through, 11 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Gorilla (Paperback)
The illustrations are compelling. But the actual text and story show a dispiriting absence of thought - even a lack of a general 'take' on the world, that robs the book of the quality it could have had. So, rather unthought through and essentially disappointing in my opinion. I bought it because Anthony Browne became the children's laureate. But I'm not going to give it to the child I had in mind, which is a shame.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2012 8:04 PM GMT


Murder for profit (Twentieth century classics series)
Murder for profit (Twentieth century classics series)
by William Bolitho
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, lovely murders, 27 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a marvellous, thorough, well-researched and civilised piece of writing about a few of the most infamous murder cases, setting them into their socio-historical context in whichever country they took place. The writer is a superb psychologist and a very fine writer indeed. The style befits the period - so a dense, almost late Victorian-style, read. But if you are prepared to make the effort, deeply rewarding.


The Secret Scripture
The Secret Scripture
by Sebastian Barry
Edition: Paperback

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Contrived and lazy, 27 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Secret Scripture (Paperback)
I thought this was awful. It began so well, but then the sheer 'Oirishness' of it got on my nerves, and it was so contrived. (How, for example, would a busy doctor get to waste so much time on a no-brainer like, Can this Ancient Institutionalised Lady Cut It Back in Society at Her Age?) It seemed to me (though I could not bear to go back and reread to check) that lots of parts of the story didn't hang together. It's very lazy writing to wriggle out of discrepancies by pretending that they are the result of your characters' 'perceptions' of what happened. And who falls asleep with a baby on a beach in bad weather? No one. As for the ending, oh, please! By the end, I absolutely hated it. A shocking lack of editing, too.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2014 11:22 PM BST


The Northern Clemency
The Northern Clemency
by Philip Hensher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, and essentially pointless, 19 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Northern Clemency (Paperback)
What a brick this book is. And what a lazy and meandering piece of writing, crying out for ruthless editing. It seemed to this reader pretty well pointless - certainly not the State of the Nation read that it has in some overly sympathetic places been billed. Frankly, I was astonished that the author himself didn't get bored enough to throw in the towel halfway through. If I hadn't been on a long trip with only this one book to read, I certainly would have.


Pilcrow
Pilcrow
by Adam Mars-Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 26 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Pilcrow (Paperback)
A totally compelling piece of work. It is indeed 'a brick' of a novel, but its watchword is readability. Entirely credible, fascinating, moving, funny, clever, thought-provoking. I, like another reviewer here, am astonished it had (comparatively) so little notice in the literary world.


The Twin
The Twin
by Gerbrand Bakker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 19 Oct. 2009
This review is from: The Twin (Paperback)
This is the most extraordinary book. Laconic, well-paced, with the strongest sense of place and atmosphere. It seems at first like a study of quiet hatred between two members of a family trapped by a shocking bereavement and the relentless commitment that is the farming life. But as this entirely credible and almost gentle story unfolds, we see the brilliance of the author's ability to depict psychological change. Gerbrand Bakker has perfect pitch as a writer. In the famous old reader's words, 'I could not put it down'. I think it is a flawless piece of work - certainly the best novel I have read this year - by far.


American Wife
American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant portrait, 5 Oct. 2009
This review is from: American Wife (Paperback)
I, too, thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought it was remarkable how such a young author could do such a fine job of describing (and so sympathetically) the sort of woman with whom she herself is most unlikely to have much in common, either in experience or temperament. (I don't either, which is probably why I found the book such a revelation, explaining so well, as it does, how these women who can button their beaks around - even share a life with - people whose beliefs and actions they disapprove of, actually manage to stay so restrained and still live with themselves.)And the novel is remarkably perceptive about the effects of fame. But, but... Oh, how uneasy I felt reading it. It seemed the worst invasion of a woman's privacy. How Laura Bush must hate the book! I would feel such anger if anyone wrote their own version of my life in this way. But then again, didn't Laura Bush just sit by and watch a lot of infinitely worse things happen? So perhaps we can all just follow her bland, uncommitted example, and enjoy this simply rivetting read.


Ocean Waves
Ocean Waves
Offered by newagemusicstore
Price: £6.49

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preventing manslaughter on trains, 30 Aug. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ocean Waves (Audio CD)
I live way out west. I travel in the train's quiet coach and used to spend my life quarrelling with people who were making 'just one quick phone call'. I bought an ipod and noise cancelling headphones and this, which is the only thing I have downloaded, and I keep it on loop. My life has changed. Against the soothing crash of waves, I can once again read and work. In the few seconds of silence as the cycle begins again, I sometimes hear a stir in the carriage around me. It is somebody else, quarrelling with someone about their noisy conversations or mobile phone calls. They should get sorted and buy this.


People Who Say Goodbye : Memories of Childhood
People Who Say Goodbye : Memories of Childhood
by P.Y. Betts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful memoir, 30 Aug. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is wonderful. (And everyone in our book group thought so - definitely a first!) P Y Betts' memoir of her childhood during the first world war (when People Who Said Goodbye so rarely came back) isn't gloomy at all. It's sharp, funny, insightful, brilliantly written, and full of details about the small potatoes of a child's life back all those years ago. Intensely readable. The most lovely memoir, and somehow reminiscent of that other classic, My Grandmothers and Myself by Diana Holman Hunt.


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