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Lewis Duckworth (Birmingham, UK)

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Conspirators
Conspirators
by Michael Andre Bernstein
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Transported to Galicia, 1913/14, 6 Mar 2014
This review is from: Conspirators (Paperback)
A novel which delineates its characters at length and with care. I feel I came to know well Count-Governor Wildowski, his spymaster Jakob Tausk, the rich man's son with his misguided revolutionary fervour, Hans Rotenberg, and the social and economic climate in Eastern Galicia [I think this is set Lwow, or, as it then was, Lemberg, the capital of Eastern Galicia] within the closing years of the Habsburg Empire of 1913/14. The book became like a friend, and certainly, now that I've finished, I miss reading it. By the way, who would want to read this on Kindle when the book is so nice to handle ....


The King's Pleasure
The King's Pleasure
by Norah Lofts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.51

5.0 out of 5 stars I agree, this is a wonderful book, 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: The King's Pleasure (Paperback)
A fascinating 30-odd year chunk of England's history is covered here. I never knew that Katherine was treated so badly by Henry VII and had to wait many years to marry Henry VIII. Ultimately, she endured many hardships and humiliations before her sad death, and didn't live long enough to see the grisly fate of her replacement.


Button Up Your Overcoat
Button Up Your Overcoat
Price: 7.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, how am I to know? if this is love that's come to stay here, 16 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Button Up Your Overcoat (Audio CD)
This, my favourite, and 20-odd other wonderful recordings from an Ambrose Orchestra that just seems to be so on top of the music, which reflects brilliant musical arranging. Dancing must have been a great pleasure to such an orchestra. No wonder that Ambrose was in such demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Was there any other Orchestra/Dance Band which was quite as good?


The Veteran
The Veteran
by Frederick Forsyth
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Whispering Wind: a 5-star novella in a brilliant collection, 16 Oct 2013
I simply had to add my 5-stars to the other reviews. The stories each have quite different settings. The longest, the novella 'Whispering Wind', tells the amazing story of the only survivor in Custer's Army from the Battle of Little Big-Horn.


Music Inspired By The Great Gatsby
Music Inspired By The Great Gatsby
Price: 5.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1920s: great music you'll never hear on the BBC, 8 Oct 2013
I find many of the songs on this double-CD inspiring and uplifting. Oh, how bright must have been those dancing nights in the decade before the depression-ridden and war-threatened 1930s. So many tracks catch the ear and the feet and have one humming the tunes all day. Al Jolson - Pasdena; Whispering Jack Smith - Sweet Annabel Lee; Crazy Rhythm; Bix Beiderbecke - Singing the Blues; Sweet Sue [now I understand all those Beiderbecke enthusiasts]. I have decided that the 1920s is my favourite musical decade. Now finally should this music be so strongly linked to 'The Great Gatsby'? Well, the novel is set in 1922/1923 and most of these songs come from later than 1923, so the answer is strictly no. Nevertheless, I hope masses of people buy this CD and discover the joys contained therein.


Ask Alice
Ask Alice
by D J Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.63

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware Tepid Reviews, 6 Aug 2013
This review is from: Ask Alice (Paperback)
I rate this a most interesting, inventive, deeply satisfying novel. I cannot understand the lukewarm comments it has received from many other reviewers.


Last Orders (Picador 40th Anniversary Edition) (Picador 40th Anniversary Editn)
Last Orders (Picador 40th Anniversary Edition) (Picador 40th Anniversary Editn)
by Graham Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.65

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London before it became a foreign country, 22 April 2013
Many of the main events affecting the characters in this novel, about which they privately reminisce, take place well before Tony Blair and NuLabour's successful (and hidden) plan to rub the British people's noses in the wonders of "diversity". I found this story of Londoners whose families suffered the hardships of the Second World War and the early post-war decades as well as life's normal bumps, accidents, and sorrows, deeply moving. A Booker Prize Winner (in 1996) which was worthy of the award.


The Case For The Euro
The Case For The Euro
by Paul Volcker
Edition: Pamphlet

1.0 out of 5 stars Really, it's zero out of 5 for eight "economists", 23 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Case For The Euro (Pamphlet)
One of whom, Adair Turner, fancies himself as the next Governor of the Bank of England! For Britain's sake he should concentrate on his garden. Will Hutton and Christopher Huhne are useful bell-weathers, in that they are always wrong about everything - this guarantees them loads of BBC air-time.


A Week in December
A Week in December
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit, wisdom, and perception., 18 Sep 2012
This review is from: A Week in December (Paperback)
This is the first book by Faulks which I've read, and it encourages me to read more of his work. Faulks obviously did much research before writing, and the novel includes a detailed picture of a "shorting" operation against a major UK-based bank. The novel had much wit, wisdom, and perception, and I thought general veracity - it rang true, with only small exceptions. The largest blooper was to depict a nearby Polish-Catholic family as having four children. Believe me that number of children is rare amongst recent Polish migrants. They have few children: mostly ones and twos. However, here in Birmingham they can observe many muslim/Somalian families with more than four children. Amazingly Faulks has no gay or lesbian characters in the novel, which, presumably, will not please the BBC or the rest of the politically correct establishment in the UK. Certainly, some of Sebastian Faulks characters see through the phoney-boloney blurb of many of Tony Blair's NuLabour governments' advertising of their policy "successes" [were there any?]. This alone was sufficient for me to relish the novel. All in all, the novel was interesting and I think many of the unfavourable reviews are unduly harsh.


Small Steps
Small Steps
by Louis Sachar
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars I found a million dollar baby, 28 Jun 2012
This review is from: Small Steps (Paperback)
Occasionally I start reading a book which I think looks different to the type I normally enjoy. Different here is the combination of an American author and a contemporary setting. Not expecting so much, I can only describe my feelings with the title of that wonderful 1930s song (performed by the Boswell Sisters), "I found a million dollar baby, in a 5- and 10-cent store". This novel is a gem, a diamond; a great and uplifting experience to read. I only wish I could persuade hundreds of others to read it.


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