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Sd May (West Yorks)

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Life Is Sweet [DVD]
Life Is Sweet [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alison Steadman
Price: £6.00

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and heart-rending, 10 April 2009
This review is from: Life Is Sweet [DVD] (DVD)
'Life is sweet/bittersweet...' Maria Mckee wrote the great title song of her brilliant solo album after seeing this film, and this is a film full of sweet moments that will also leave you feeling hollowed out by the end. Alison Steadman is the irrepressibly optimistic matriach of an ordinary lower middle class family. Husband Jim Broadbent has a million plans and schemes to escape his job, none of which will come to fruition. Jane Horrocks is the unhappy bulemic daughter whose nervy misery is contrasted with the sensible thoughtfulness of her twin played by Clare Skinner. David Thewlis is her the cruel boyfriend who grows fed up of licking chocolate spread from Jane Horrocks breasts (is he mad?) Timothy Spall turns in a marvellous performance as the deluded, predatory and pathetic would-be restauranter and the film works as a beautifully constructed ensemble piece about the necessity of dreams and the power of family bonds. I often cry at films - I cried at three separate moments in thsi one. Required viewing for all aspiring British film-makers. And, yes that means you Richard Curtis - you could learn a thing or three from this...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2012 11:05 PM BST

If This Is a Man / The Truce
If This Is a Man / The Truce
by Primo Levi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should get this book on the nhs, 10 April 2009
The greatest, most humane piece of writing about the holocaust ever written. And one of the greatest books I've read. One of the few books that I return to time and time again. A harrowing story told with anger but without bitterness. A book about what it is to be human. Indispensable.

Sweets from Morocco
Sweets from Morocco
by Jo Verity
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most powerful novel yet, 10 April 2009
This review is from: Sweets from Morocco (Paperback)
Jo Verity is a writer whose work I stumbled across by accident. A very happy accident as it turns out. Though I was intrigued by the fact that she apparently came from nowhere to win the first Richard and Judy short story competition, it wasn't until a visiting friend carelessly left behind her first novel Everything In The Garden, that I first read her work. Idle curiosity quickly turned to that warm glow you experience when you realise that you have unwittingly stumbled across something really worthwhile.
Jo Verity maintained her quietly moving, engaging and witty study of the growing pangs of late middle age with her second novel The Bells - and now she has produced her finest book yet. Sweets From Morocco is a darker novel than the others. Richer and more complex, but without losing any of the warmth or heart that characterises Verity's writing. The incident that kicks off the story is terrifying and also riveting. It's 1954 and Tessa and Gordon wish that their new baby brother wasn't around. They don't wish him active harm, but they simply want to return to the blissful time before he was there taking all their parents attention. So they make an effigy and 'lose' that. Then the baby goes for real when their father nips into the shops for a paper, leaving them with legacy of guilt the fallout from which damages the family for fifty years. The futures of everyone concerned are narrowed and soured forever. To say more would be to spoil the book for future readers. But rest assured that this is not a harrowing read. It's simply another great page turner from a literary but accessible writer who should be much better known. Others have written that Jo Verity is a kind of Welsh Ann Tyler and Sweets From Morocco proves that this kind of high praise is totally justified.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2009 7:28 PM GMT

Stick Or Twist
Stick Or Twist
by Eleanor Moran
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.57

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars witty, sexy, surprisingly moving..., 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: Stick Or Twist (Paperback)
It's a dilemma for huge numbers of women isn't it? The clock starts ticking on the hormonal time-bomb and do you stick with this guy, or do you leap while you've still got time and run the risk that there's no-one better out there? What happens if you meet The One... just as the egg-timer runs out. In this heart-warming, skillfully observed, novel of throughly modern manners - ambitious but endearingly dizzy Anna realises that a possible lonely freedom has to bebetter than a claustrophobic future with someone who is almost-but-not-quite the one. At first making the break seems more than worth it. A Handsome, talented younger man, glamour and promotion at work, but things that seem too good to be true generally are, and the wheels come off Anna's wagon in spectacular style before salvation arrives...

Crammed with both incident and good jokes - and featuring an inspired scene-stealing minor character in the shape of the am-dram loving German, Horst - Stick or Twist is a romantic comedy that shows the author to have a forensic knowledge of her terrain. This, combined with a feather-light touch, should carve her a place in what can be a crowded field. An ideal summer read for the busy thirtysomething career woman in your life. Or, indeed, her husband. Read it before the inevitable big screen adaptation. I'm seeing Rebecca Hall in the lead...

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