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Reviews Written by
Sally Douglas (Devon, UK)
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Leading the Dance
Leading the Dance
by Sarah Salway
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short story writing, 13 July 2008
This review is from: Leading the Dance (Paperback)
I enjoyed this very much. Lots of different characters and voices, most of them rather disturbing, all presented very skilfully. I loved the story of the woman in the basement, and the one about the little boy in the car. Excellent stuff.

I shall look out for other work by Sarah Salway.


Collins Robert French Dictionary: French-English/English-French
Collins Robert French Dictionary: French-English/English-French
by n/a
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best..., 13 July 2008
This is THE French dictionary to have. Don't bother with anything smaller. Extremely well organised, it will always have the answer for those tricky little usages where a lesser dictionary could have you making a fool of yourself.

I see there's an new, 30th anniversary, edition out. I'm sure it'll be even better - but I'll be sticking with this one for a few years yet!


Disgrace
Disgrace
by J M Coetzee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking study of accountability and blame, 13 July 2008
This review is from: Disgrace (Paperback)
Not an uplifting book, this one. But one that hits deep, and makes you think hard. In the end, I suppose it's all about accountability and blame - not comfortable things to think about at any time, but in post-apartheid South Africa, particularly difficult. How does one define and/or justify exploitation? I don't know. I shall have to read the book again, now that I know the questions I want to ask.


Impossible Objects
Impossible Objects
by Bill Greenwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poems with Muscles..., 13 July 2008
This review is from: Impossible Objects (Paperback)
If you're a word, and you're a bit lazy, don't try for a job in one of Bill Greenwell's poems. He makes every single word work exceedingly hard: no shirking here. Or if you're an idea, and you fancy an outing with him, make sure you're wearing good trainers, as he'll just run and run with you.

A fantastic collection: witty, eclectic, robust - all with an underlying emotional honesty that gets right under the reader's skin. Highly recommended.


Ghost Songs
Ghost Songs
by Gail Ashton
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 13 July 2008
This review is from: Ghost Songs (Paperback)
Brilliant. The kind of poetry collection you read from cover to cover and then lift your eyes to find the world looks slightly different.


Creatures of the Intertidal Zone
Creatures of the Intertidal Zone
by Susan Richardson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection, 13 July 2008
Another great collection from Cinnamon. Susan Richardson creates and recreates landscapes, voices, worlds. Highly recommended.


Salt-sweat and Tears
Salt-sweat and Tears
by Louisa Adjoa Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Themes of identity, violence, prejudice., 13 July 2008
This review is from: Salt-sweat and Tears (Paperback)
I very much enjoyed this sustained exploration of identity and belonging. Louisa Adoja Parker's poetry speaks of what it is to suffer prejudice, violence, and displacement. Sometimes her poetry reminds me of Selima Hill, in the way in which she takes a startling image (a bemused hippo falling through ice, for example) and applies it unexpectedly, achieving a kind of surreal schema-refreshment that, for me, makes a poem extra special.

I did feel at times that she over-explained: there were a few poems I felt might be strengthened by losing the last few lines, or even the last stanza; but all in all I felt it was a collection which worked very well, a series of snapshots of a life, a bricolage of individual poems which together told a story.

It will be interesting to see a second collection - will she move away from the apparently autobiographical? Or has she more story to tell? I'll definitely be buying her next collection.


The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets
The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories, 13 July 2008
Excellent book of short stories, full of fascinating insights into the darker and weirder side of the human psyche. Great control of tone, structure, voice and suspense. Highly recommended.


The Years (Vintage Classics Woolf Series)
The Years (Vintage Classics Woolf Series)
by Virginia Woolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but went on for too long, 13 July 2008
I was prepared not to enjoy this, as I had read a certain amount of negative criticism. However, I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of this sprawling family saga, a saga which addresses directly both political and social issues in Britain and Europe, from the late C19th to the years immediately before the Second World War. It isn't quite in the same league as 'Mrs Dalloway', but it still has that Virginia Woolf way of pulling you in by such precise and well-observed description of character and place .

But at some point near the end, I found I was getting a bit bored. I wasn't interested any more. Eleanor's internal maunderings were slightly tedious; I was forgetting who was related to who; and I had to make an effort to finish the book.

For me, it was a sprawl too many. But it's still worth a read - it's Woolf, after all.


Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose (Learning About Language)
Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose (Learning About Language)
by Mick Short
Edition: Paperback
Price: £30.39

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent over-view of stylistics, 12 July 2008
Although Mick Short is sometimes prone to stating the obvious (did we really need an illustration of two chairs to illustrate deixis? I think most people know the difference between 'that' chair and 'this' chair depends upon where they are..) this is otherwise an excellent book about stylistic analysis, with useful exercises, and checklists to help with carrying out one's own analyses.


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