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Mr. W. James Mcateer "Jim McAteer" (Ilford, Essex UK)
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Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics)
Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics)
by John Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read John McGahern's introduction!!, 19 Feb 2014
It contains loads of spoilers. Read it at the end instead.

A very well-written, thoughtful book, and a remarkable page-turner for a literary novel. It seems very popular for book groups; I've never before seen 100 reservations against an item in my local library consortium.


3g Tube of Super Glue, Bonds Anything In Seconds! Pack Of 5
3g Tube of Super Glue, Bonds Anything In Seconds! Pack Of 5
Offered by Bargain Warehouse
Price: 1.23

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last..., 17 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
... a glue that works! I had given up on store bought glues but the price tempted me. To date it has fixed a plastic, badly broken, refrigerator cheese / butter closure; a plastic bit that snapped off my elderly Epson Stylus Color 740 printer; and has resealed a leaking spout on my stainless steel Dualit kettle. Worth the price of a tube for each fix, yet does not appear to dry out or seal itself quickly. The instructions are a little vague - but it's obvious you need to puncture the top to open it. I found that it works best if you coat each of the surfaces, wait a minute, recoat one of the surfaces and hold together to bond, watching your fingers all the while. Try it.


No Traveller Returns (Salt Modern Poets)
No Traveller Returns (Salt Modern Poets)
by Vahni Capildeo
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and enjoyable, 13 Sep 2008
Trinidad-born Capildeo's debut collection speaks from the viewpoint of a somewhat androgynous commentator. Self-aware, her detachment and coolness is supported by enhanced verbal acuity. The style is fractured yet playful, the wry humour most evident in the collection's prose centrepiece, "The Monster Scrapbook", where autobiographical elements surface.

The work is tonally solipsistic yet avoids bleakness. Despite the title there is a senselessness of place which contributes to the otherworldly atmosphere Capildeo invokes.


Last Post
Last Post
by Vernon Scannell
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scannell's Farewell, 24 Aug 2008
This review is from: Last Post (Paperback)
A final, valedictory collection from the venerable Scannell, who died aged 85 in November 2007, shortly after the book's publication. A former professional boxer, in the Second World War Scannell took part in the D-day landings, was wounded, twice deserted, and spent time in an Egyptian military prison and afterwards in a mental hospital in England.

The sixteen poems collected here anticipate the author's mortality, and vary in tone from jocular acceptance to grimly mordant. The quality is variable too, but the penultimate "Missing Things" is most moving, as the final bell sounds for this prolific poet.


The Lay of the Land
The Lay of the Land
by Richard Ford
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank is Rich, 12 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Lay of the Land (Paperback)
Proof (if proof were needed) that Ford can be bracketed with Roth, Bellow and Updike as exponents of the extended 20th century Great American Novel. On meeting, Ford's southern charm is evident, but his famously prickly hubris and hauteur has made him less prolific than his forebears and contemporaries. Though his recent 'Women with Men' garnered deservedly mixed reviews, here, with the effort evident on each page, Ford delivers one of the most enjoyable and insightful books of the last decade. There is an original use of language and phraseology, a modernity which to some extent alienates us from his 60ish narrator but distances Ford from his competition.

Frank (ex-'Sportswriter') Bascombe is not - as Ford rightly denies - an alter ego, though both live on the East Coast and are comfortably late middle-aged. Frank now is seriously wealthy, rocketing property prices inflating the value of both his NJ shore real estate business and his own ocean view mansion. Counterpointing this are continuing unresolved issues, this novel being set (like the Faulkner / Pulitzer winning 'Independence Day') around a traditional holiday where Frank's age and sentimentalism augurs a crisis.

Frank's prolonged internal soliloquy takes up most of the wordage. It contains some of the most sublime self-consciousness, and self-deception. He is successful, gung-ho and energetic. Money is made and lost almost carelessly. But while he has a peripatetic business partner, his life partners are estranged, and his children distant and bewildering. His failing health is a critical subtext: Frank has prostate cancer (treatable). But there are references to heart murmurs and palpitations, which are less evidence of coronary disease, rather unacknowledged stress and incipient nervous disorder and potential breakdown.

All considered, it is a better novel than 'Independence Day'. The odd denouement detracts a little from this wonderful book; but one reads to the end, which is Ford's stated invocation of success as a writer. In part because the end is unsatisfying, tetralogy beckons: Merry Christmas Mr Bascombe? Bascombe at Rest?


In Praise of Nepotism: A History of Family Enterprise from King David to George W. Bush
In Praise of Nepotism: A History of Family Enterprise from King David to George W. Bush
by Adam Bellow
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shameful, 5 Aug 2007
It would be useful to read nepotism defended by one who has not benefited so extravagantly from this reactionary disease. Thankfully the 1c value placed his "work" by Amazon.com marketplace sellers makes the point better than words.

His father, the peerless liberal Jewish author Saul, will be spinning in his grave.


The Lay of the Land
The Lay of the Land
by Richard Ford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank is Rich, 10 May 2007
This review is from: The Lay of the Land (Hardcover)
Proof (if proof were needed) that Ford can be bracketed with Roth, Bellow and Updike as exponents of the extended 20th century Great American Novel. On meeting, Ford's southern charm is evident, but his famously prickly hubris and hauteur has made him less prolific than his forebears and contemporaries. Though his recent 'Women with Men' garnered deservedly mixed reviews, here, with the effort evident on each page, Ford delivers one of the most enjoyable and insightful books of the last decade. There is an original use of language and phraseology, a modernity which to some extent alienates us from his 60ish narrator but distances Ford from his competition.

Frank (ex-'Sportswriter') Bascombe is not - as Ford rightly denies - an alter ego, though both live on the East Coast and are comfortably late middle-aged. Frank now is seriously wealthy, rocketing property prices inflating the value of both his NJ shore real estate business and his own ocean view mansion. Counterpointing this are continuing unresolved issues, this novel being set (like the Faulkner / Pulitzer winning 'Independence Day') around a traditional holiday where Frank's age and sentimentalism augurs a crisis.

Frank's prolonged internal soliloquy takes up most of the wordage. It contains some of the most sublime self-consciousness, and self-deception. He is successful, gung-ho and energetic. Money is made and lost almost carelessly. But while he has a peripatic business partner, his life partners are estranged, and his children distant and bewildering. His failing health is a critical subtext: Frank has prostate cancer (treatable). But there are references to heart murmurs and palpitations, which are less evidence of coronary disease, rather unacknowledged stress and incipient nervous disorder and potential breakdown.

All considered, it is a better novel than 'Independence Day'. The odd denouement detracts a little from this wonderful book; but one reads to the end, which is Ford's stated invocation of success as a writer. In part because the end is unsatisfying, tetralogy beckons: Merry Christmas Mr Bascombe? Bascombe at Rest?


Vandaag in de boekhandel
Vandaag in de boekhandel
by Harry Pallemans
Edition: Unknown Binding

4.0 out of 5 stars Not yet Melville, 10 May 2007
This review is from: Vandaag in de boekhandel
"Today in the Bookshop", a fascinating first publication (surprisingly still available only in the original Dutch) by Harry Pallemans, an author examining personal experience. Famous for his short stories, previously broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Mr. Pallemans now specialises in the translation of literary novels into his native tongue, including Mark Haddon's excellent "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time".

Pallemans' figurative style is best illustrated in Chapter 9 "Een bakje water" where with subtle didactism we learn of the origin of bagpipes and the drainage of Richmond Palace. Though Troppo encourages the use of his "books as placemats", ultimately his technique is more total than defensive, and serious readers are thus directed to Mr. Pallemans' subsequent antipodean opus 'De fasen" (q.v.).


Remainder
Remainder
by Tom McCarthy
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to suspend disbelief, 3 May 2007
This review is from: Remainder (Hardcover)
Though an enjoyable and easy read, I found difficulty in accepting that, even with a fortune and a cast of hundreds, the world could be remodelled to the satisfaction of an extreme obsessive compulsive; similarly the abetted descent into pyschopathy and criminality was hard to swallow. The piling up of details made me wonder if the ambitious concept could have been better realised on a smaller scale.


Independence Day
Independence Day
by Richard Ford
Edition: Paperback

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ford's lyrical sequel to 'The Sportswriter', 11 Sep 2004
This review is from: Independence Day (Paperback)
Check your pulse if you fail to surrender to the evocative opening to this novel. Frank Bascombe, ex-"Sportswriter", now a middling success at real estate agency in New Jersey, attempts to connect with his anomic son from a failed marriage. Undertaking to improve his 'connection' via a misguided jock's trip though various sporting museums, the truthfulness of this relationship is counterpointed by some less convincing portraits of the new women in Bascombe's life. Mere details - the novel has a wonderful, down-home American drawl and rhythm that defies criticism. Unhestitatingly recommended.


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