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Reviews Written by
Emma Louise "Cappa Ring" (London)

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Ted Ted Trouble in Tokyo: 2
Ted Ted Trouble in Tokyo: 2
by Alexandra Carey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and charming story, 27 Nov. 2012
Ted Ted's first adventure saw him lost in the Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai. His second outing takes him to Tokyo, where Tilly and her family are on holiday. When he falls out of Tilly's backpack on the crowded subway (complete with a sumo wrestler) on the first morning of sightseeing, it is then that his adventures begin. This is another beautifully produced story from Alexandra Carey and Antonia Ghazlan. It is a wittily told and charmingly illustrated book perfect for the 6-10 age group. I agree with the reviewer who compared it to Edward Ardizzone - this is Ardizzone for the 21st century. Ted Ted deserves to become a classic children's character.


Ten Weeks in Africa
Ten Weeks in Africa
by J M Shaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story of corruption and redemption, 3 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Ten Weeks in Africa (Hardcover)
This is JM Shaw's second novel. Like the first, 'The Illumination of Merton Browne', it is a tightly-written modern thriller with a huge amount to say. It is set in Batanga, a fictionalised East African country. The core of the plot revolves around the doomed attempt by an English NGO worker, Ed Caine, to improve the lives of slum-dwellers in the capital city. Ed's well-meaning but rather utopian plans soon come up against reality in a country where the struggle to survive involves bribery, extortion and corruption from the lowest levels of society to the very highest.
The characters Ed comes across all have their own stories and their own struggles. We meet Stephen, the young man living in the slum who dreams of a better life; Solomon, the charming but shady businessman who was once a slum boy like Stephen; Beatrice, the clever and feisty daughter of a government official, who wants to make her country a better place; and Joseph, her father, who has tried to avoid corruption all his life, but has had to turn a blind eye to the corruption of others. Somehow or other they all become involved in Ed's plans to improve the slums, but it's impossible for them to overcome the vested interests of the powerful officials, who have other plans for the land.
Shaw's characters are never cynical, nor are they mere cyphers. Each one has an interior world and an integrity which casts light on the thought-provoking issues that the book explores - the cause and effects of Foreign Aid, of immigration, of corrupt elites.
The evocation of Africa is wonderful, the dialogue sharp and witty, the pace of the story intense and page-turning. There is a charming and unlikely love story, which involves a moving exploration of what it means to really love someone.
This is a modern thriller with both heart and brains. I would highly recommend it.


Ted Ted and the Dhobi Ghats: 1
Ted Ted and the Dhobi Ghats: 1
by Alexandra Carey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely adventure story, 27 Nov. 2010
This is a lovely story with an unusual setting and a heartwarming ending. Ted Ted is a much-loved bear, best friend of a little girl called Tilly, who goes on holiday to Mumbai with her parents. One day, Ted-Ted finds himself getting bundled up in bedlinen at the hotel, and taken to the Dhobi-Ghats, where he gets a bear's-eye view of the sights and sounds of the city. Meanwhile, Tilly is having her own, rather different tour of Mumbai. Charmingly told and beautifully illustrated, this is a children's book with a difference. Highly recommended.


The Book Of Ebenezer Le Page (New York Review Books Classics)
The Book Of Ebenezer Le Page (New York Review Books Classics)
by G. B. Edwards
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare and wonderful book, 19 Oct. 2007
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is a real treaure - one of the best books I have ever read. It deserves to be widely known and hailed as a classic of 20th century.
The premise is, on the surface, not specially promising: an 80-year old man looks back on his life, which he has spent entirely on the island of Guernsey. But Ebenezer's story takes us to the very root of what it is to be human, what it is to love, suffer, enjoy simple pleasures, endure disappointments and loss, and all the while, retain the utmost dignity and humanity.
Ebenezer chronicles his life through the 2 world wars, the German occupation of Guernsey, and beyond. He watches, half amused, half sad, but without any self-pity, as the world around him changes, never for the better. His voice is utterly compelling, wickedly funny and truthful as he describes all the pretensions and absurdities of the people and situations he sees around him, and all the tragedies and the joys of life.
I urge you to read this book -it is heartbreakingly beautiful and you will never forget it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2011 2:46 PM BST


Ex and the City: You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Dumps You
Ex and the City: You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Dumps You
by Alexandra Heminsley
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can be your friend, 4 Sept. 2007
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who's doing the dating thing: it's very funny and also full of good advice - the author is clearly a lot nicer than most of the guys she was going out with. I loved the Melton Mowbray in the handbag moment and the heartwarming New York ending.


The Great Stink
The Great Stink
by Clare Clark
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, gripping historical thriller, 13 Jun. 2005
This review is from: The Great Stink (Hardcover)
Clare Clark's The Great Stink is set during a pivotal point in the history of Victorian London, as plans are being finalised for a complete overhaul of the city's sewage system. It is this that forms the backdrop to the action. The plot works brilliantly on several levels - above ground, the machinery of this vast scheme of public works is vividly conveyed, with all its optimism and corruption. Below ground are the sewers themselves, dark foetid remnants of the city's medieval past, which are evoked in marvellously descriptive passages. Straddling the two is the hero of the book, William May, who works as an engineer under Joseph Bazalgette, and whose compulsive relationship with the dark, labyrinthine sewers will have disastrous consequences.
This is an intelligent and gripping historical murder mystery with some fantastic twists and a truly page-turning denoument. The story is moving and involving, and manages brilliantly to transport the reader back in time to the Victorian age, and down beneath the foggy streets of London. Highly recommended.


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