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N. Hynes (London, UK)

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Blood Donors
Blood Donors
by Steve Tasane
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Top storytelling with characters and scenes you won't forget, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blood Donors (Paperback)
If you liked "Attack the Block", you'll love this! The narrator's voice is strong and true from the start. You'll either recognise it or it'll be new to you, but give it time to settle and soon you'll be whizzing your way up and down "the Finger" (the tower black where the hero-narrator, 15-year-old Marshall, lives) with your eyes watching every surface for new, super-sized bedbugs. There are plenty of good action scenes, suspense and horror, as Marshall and his friends (Mustapha and Sis) see terrible things yet find no one believes them. But there's humour and heart, too, as Marshall, Mustapha and Sis rally and banter (and a scene involving spray paint and super bugs that I'll never forget). And some hard earned reconciliation, as Marshall and his worried mother come to terms with the emergency and each other.

My one criticism is that the ending felt a bit understated. I applaud stepping back from the traditional, heroic, "action movie" style finish, but things tied up almost too quietly. Still I'm willing to forgive this, if it means that Marshall and co. might come back again in future books! This is top storytelling from Steve Tasane, well-paced, inventive, with characters and scenes you won't forget. Just don't read it last thing at night...


Glamorous Women's Layla Polo Short Sleeve Blouse
Glamorous Women's Layla Polo Short Sleeve Blouse
Price: 9.00 - 17.60

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't pass a sewing class, 30 May 2014
I didn't order this blouse. But I considered doing so, attracted by the bright colours and loose fit, until I looked closely at the photograph. It's made from a printed, patterned fabric, and there is a centre seam both in front and back -- where the pattern is clearly mismatched. I am willing to forgive this on the back, but the front? Roses chopped in half? Joined to a flower of a different colour? It wouldn't have passed my 7th grade sewing class.


The Courtesans Reply (The Flap Pamphlet Series)
The Courtesans Reply (The Flap Pamphlet Series)
by Shazea Quraishi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Voices of sensuality and experience, 14 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this collection of twenty poems, Shazea Quraishi conjures the voices of courtesans from 4th century India. With subtle shifts of register and lyrical skill, she brings them alive as individual characters with diverse desires -- and not always for the men they are with. Playful, erotic and filled with yearning, the poems express a nuanced female gaze. Reading them is like watching an ancient painting come to life.


Shaun Tan notebook no 4: Paraffin Oil Koala
Shaun Tan notebook no 4: Paraffin Oil Koala
by Shaun Tan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.83

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars upogoupogo, 20 Feb 2012
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE IMAGE ATTACHED IS OF The Paraffin Koala AND NOT The Bee eater (a bird image); these images have been swapped on the Amazon website. There is a similar problem on the product page for The Paraffin Koala.

These are beautifully constructed notebooks, with good quality paper and cloth bindings, and I'm a fan of Shaun Tan's work, but to avoid customer disappointment --

AMAZON, PLEASE ATTACH CORRECT IMAGE


The Arrival
The Arrival
by Shaun Tan
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement, 27 Feb 2007
This review is from: The Arrival (Hardcover)
I would recommend this book on the strength and beauty of the drawings alone, but I am happy to say that it also tells a moving, compelling story. It captures well that first encounter with a new country, the "arrival" when one is geting to know a new place, new language, new foods and trying to make sense of it all. Is this world safer than the one you've left behind? What dangers forced you to leave?

Through using elements of fantasy, it avoids an easy exoticism and prevents us from patronising the main characters -- we don't understand this world either, can't read its language, don't recognise its animals or know how its machines work. We aren't sure what is safe and what is not. We would like to believe the world is benign, but we don't know, and there seem infinite possiblities for things to go wrong. In this tension, it also captures the importance of the kindness of strangers and of fellow immigrants, whose sometimes painful back-stories are conveyed beautifully and concisely in one or two pages of images.

All this, without the use of words. A remarkable achievement.

I am an immigrant by choice, not necessity (as are many of the characters in this story), but I know what I will be giving my friends and relatives for years to come.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2012 8:43 PM BST


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