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terence dooley (camelford, cornwall United Kingdom)

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Glow
Glow
by Ned Beauman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.12

5.0 out of 5 stars sex, drugs and hocus pocus, 9 July 2014
This review is from: Glow (Hardcover)
I'm giving Ned Beauman five stars just because he's so entertaining and energetic and so much more interesting than the po-faced 'issue'-driven crowd. His chosen genre seems to be very much his own genre, the spoof thriller, not so much the comedy spoof thriller here, which is perhaps a pity. This is a joy to read, which isn't to say that I think it quite comes off. There's far too much research, without there quite being a point to it all. If it wants to be a thriller, it fizzles out badly. The ridiculousness of the plot is a pleasure in itself and one does feel for Raf in his search for a durable girlfriend, but the horror of global capitalism as a target, a worthy target, is missed by a mile among the incredible Burmese shenanigans.
I think he should stay funny in his next one and stay home. he could be a great novelist of London.


Eyrie
Eyrie
by Tim Winton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars gripping and poetic, 27 Jun 2014
This review is from: Eyrie (Hardcover)
It's rare to read such an intelligent and convincing novel about the urban poor and desperate, the very people who are ignored by the compassionate, who now concentrate on other species than their own, as has Tom, the protagonist, a decent man unravelling. The prose is fierce, funny and beautiful, the descriptions of Fremantle and Perth are absolutely vivid. The story gradually becomes a thriller in which we care terribly for the 3 central characters, menaced by addictions and violence. What has happened to them in the past, and what will become of them? We cannot help but read on. Great, important, present-day fiction, in which redemption and rescue are always possible, but only possible.


Young Skins
Young Skins
by Colin Barrett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars pity for the lost, 13 Jun 2014
This review is from: Young Skins (Hardcover)
These stories come garlanded with praise from Ireland, land of exaggeration, but though very good in parts they are certainly prentice work. We have O Henry endings, hardboiled violence, panting prose, and yet some very touching, well-observed and real things: These lonely young and older drunks, grim farms, no-one could say they aren't one kind of Ireland, but where is the writer in all this, I mean his personality, where is a life seen from the inside? I like what he does with learning-disabled characters, and I think he's good at narrative drive, and he's readable, and not bad, and could do better later. The Clancy Kid is a lovely story.


Jesse Winchester & Third Down, 110 To Go
Jesse Winchester & Third Down, 110 To Go
Price: 8.15

5.0 out of 5 stars 40 years on more of a masterpiece, and in 40 years time, 12 Jun 2014
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Especially Third Down: It has advice for life in 2 minute poems - it's easy to pity yourself/ but it's sort of dangerous fun - and for a new father : I won't get in your way, let me look down from above.
All his songs are kind and joyful, even the sad ones: 'You remember me' for example. Jesse, we remember you


High tide
High tide
by Philip Maitland Hubbard
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars terrific thriller, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: High tide (Hardcover)
Golly what an awful snob and posho P M Hubbard is!
Snobbery and violence as they said of Bond, or John Buchan.
Yet, he's a forgotten classic. Splendid writing, always 1st person, always brilliant on threatening pagan landscapes, the sea and tides.
Women are the alien in this kind of writing, always gorgeous, not strapped for money, just hanging around for our hero, always ready to betray him to the villain.
Despite all this, terrific. It's the prose.


La Fille Aux Cheveux De Soie
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Soie
Price: 0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars chanson soyeuese, 8 Jun 2014
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Quelle belle voix qu' il a
nicest track on the new album.
I still like nous cherchons des ponts better


Miss Undine's Living Room
Miss Undine's Living Room
by James Wilcox
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous, wonderful, pure style, a future classic, 8 Jun 2014
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I might quote the first sentence to show just what is so wonderful about James Wilcox:
" Mrs Undine comes free for shut-ins," Olive was saying to the old man as she pressed a strip of electric tape to his plump, womanish loins.
Who writes like that?
There are perfect sentences like this all through the book.
(shut-ins are old people confined to their apartments, Mrs Undine is a very unqualified physiotherapist)
Though everyone is fallen in his novels: The old man is as boring as you might suspect, and everyone suspects him of pushing his dreadful male carer out of a window: Olive is distracted by many work and family worries and conspicuously overspends She is in love adulterously with the beautiful incompetent dentist, Dr Bates, as are many of her friends. Somehow we root for all of them. Everything that happens is farcical in a weirdly unpredictable way. Everyone in the little town of Tula Springs knows everything and nothing about each other. It's a complete world, and a recognisable one, and if it will teach you more about America than all the Franzens; it has much to say about life anywhere.
Also, if you're a fan of his Ann Tyler-praised (they're equally cherishable) debut Modern Baptists, you'll want to know that some of the wonderful characters there appear here too. It's important to say that all his books (though the first was the hit) are just as good, some even better.


Can't and Won't
Can't and Won't
by Lydia Davis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars funny, poetic, disturbing, truthful, memorable, 23 May 2014
This review is from: Can't and Won't (Hardcover)
Some of these stories are poems, some jokes, all are serious, intelligent and interesting, and they could all only have been written by Lydia Davis. With Anne Carson, she's the best experimental cross-genre writer in English, and hugely enjoyable.


NAZARIN (Spanish Edition)
NAZARIN (Spanish Edition)
Price: 0.77

1.0 out of 5 stars corrupt text, I wasted 77p, 14 May 2014
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what a swindle, buy the book, text all out of sync and incomplete, the book is a classic and dishonoured by this treatment. It's a lesson to us all not to try to get free books.


Bark
Bark
by Lorrie Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars growing a carapace, 12 May 2014
This review is from: Bark (Hardcover)
Life was pretty rough in the earlier Lorrie Moore stories, and always met with a salvo of jokes and aphorisms, most of them blackish.
The same is true here, but it is an older voice. There are fine stories of men and women living alone, after the terrible pain of divorce, which she describes as one of the great unmentionables. So too is grave mental and physical illness, which she describes fearlessly. I want to go back and write down some of her wonderful one-liners. She is a smart ass's smart ass, which I regard as a heroic thing to be, in the face of terrible things so many writers treat with a gluey sentimentality. I think her political stories aren't as successful, because always one is preaching to the choir. But an unmissable collection.


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