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GD 71 (Auckland New Zealand)

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Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy)
Winter of the World (Century of Giants Trilogy)
by Ken Follett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prediction on the third book!, 8 Oct 2012
Follett is formulaic. "Nouveau riche are bad but old rich are very bad (except when they are saints like Maud and Gus and Walter). The poor are good but the Welsh poor walk on water". His younger women are bright, 21st century feminists and feisty (Daisy, Bella, Zoya,Joanne, Carla). And the fun of his roman a clef is how all the characters will react with the real life people and incidents. Follett's socialism burns brightly everywhere so the third book will be very predictable apart from one thing, Blair. There will be the wicked Margaret and the destroying Thatcherites and the wronged IRA. There will be Gorbachov and the end of the Berlin wall and the redemption of Volodya. There will be the space race and the rise of terrorism - will Carla's Asian son play a part? - and 7/11. But more fascinating, will there be the blessed Tony Blair (Ken's wife was a Blair babe after all) or his lying about Iraq and subservience to USA? How will Socialist Ken weigh up Tony and the rise of the millionaires in the City and the abandonment of Clause 4? I bet Tony will come out OK - after all Ken is a millionaire too!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2012 2:02 PM GMT


Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
by Ken Follett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.61

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Class warfare?, 19 Nov 2010
It is a good story and well written but after about page 400 one realises Ken Follett has a (political) bee in his bonnet which can best be said as "Workers good, bosses bad. Working class good, upper classes bad". I search for good aristocrats and all I can find is the maverick feminist sister. I look for bad workers and all I can find the emigre Russian to the US who turns criminal as he gets richer! No doubt the next book will be about WWII and the theme will be re-emphasised. The trilogy will no doubt be completed with the Blair years where the author will have an interesting time with successful "workers" (like Blair!).


The Pregnant Widow
The Pregnant Widow
by Martin Amis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.34

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappoiting, 5 April 2010
This review is from: The Pregnant Widow (Hardcover)
A few odd sentences that sparkled but it did seem as if the author was trying to find things to say that made it a novel instead of a novella.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2011 10:24 PM BST


The Maze of Cadiz: A Peter Cotton Book
The Maze of Cadiz: A Peter Cotton Book
by Aly Monroe
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tour guide, 26 Feb 2009
Frankly this was disappointing. It seemed like the author was looking for an opportunity to give a tour of Cadiz of old. The descriptive writing was good but of the characters, only Ramirez the Police Chief stood out as "real", complex and mysterious. The other characters were two dimensional at best. The hero (if such a word could be used to such an effete spy) was unbelievable and the strongest thing he did was to use social reprimands on the Simpsons and on a beggar. Big deal! If a German spy or soldier had accosted him, one would believe he would collapse from fright. Hopefully he will be better "described" in following novels. Perhaps a course in Alan Furst would help?


Winter of Spies
Winter of Spies
by David Newham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winter of Discontent?, 19 Feb 2008
This review is from: Winter of Spies (Paperback)
Brilliant first novel. It was hard to like Sam Carver with his smart ass ripostes but I suspect there was a bit of esprit d'escalier in the conversations, answers we all would have liked to have given to arrogant senior officers and colleagues but couldn't think of them at the time. The ending was gruelling and gut wrenching; it might well have been possible unfortunately. I look forward to his next book but I suspect it will not be up to this calibre; it felt like David had given his all but Winter of Spies is a worthy monument on its own.


The Last Spymaster
The Last Spymaster
by Gayle Lynds
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Issues.., 8 Jan 2008
The book started well with a crisp plot but then descended into bathos or a Keystone Cops finale where the heroes suddenly had kevlar suits, magnetic grips and propane explosives. In fact the last 60 pages were awful. Gayle to me has a sub plot which would be worth anyone looking for in her other novels. Namely women are good and most men are bad. There are three women in this novel and they are all good. The one man was good but had "emotional flaws" that a good woman, babies and the Cook Islands put to rights. Her characterisation way below that of Le Carre, Deighton or Littell - hard stares and knowing looks made up for insight. All this reminded me of a comment by Ken Follett when he was discussing writing with Hanif Kureishi. The upshot was Hanif's comment that "you, Ken, write for your customers, whilst I write for myself. This means you are a rich author and I am a good author. " I suspect Gayle is well on the way to becoming rich.


Dark Voyage
Dark Voyage
by Alan Furst
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.22

10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 9 Sep 2004
This review is from: Dark Voyage (Hardcover)
This is a disappointing book which perhaps should never have been written. An old-fashioned editor would have pruned the first 100 pages into 5 or 6. The story is utterly predictable from start to finish. The characterisation is weak and unconvincing, especially that of Bromen. The sea journey was made to be mundane. All in all this has to have been Furst's potboiler. i have been a great fan of his but this has let him down. I am not sure I can be convinced to buy any future of his books.


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