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J. W. Platt "Author of the Book" (The Netherlands)
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The Crystal Gazer
The Crystal Gazer
by Peter McGowan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 1.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great feeling for Africa, 19 Nov 2005
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This review is from: The Crystal Gazer (Paperback)
I both enjoyed and appreciated "The Crystal Gazer" very much. The author has a gift for writing adventurous fiction! The novel will appeal to anyone with a love of Africa and things African, or who is connected (however loosely) with the international mining industry or better yet who likes a good and exciting read. The feel of Africa in the book is absolutely authentic, and it is clear that the experiences of the places, atmosphere and people described were obtained at first hand, as with the ramifications of big mining operations and those who run them. A wealth of information on diamond production and sorting is an added benefit. The characters are well drawn, and many readers will recognise elements of some of them in their own experiences. The plot is excellent, and I put the book down wishing it had been longer.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2009 11:01 AM GMT


Dover Beach
Dover Beach
by Leslie Thomas
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book, 9 Nov 2005
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This review is from: Dover Beach (Hardcover)
A new title by Leslie Thomas is always an event for me. "Dover Beach" lived up to all expectations, as good a novel as he has ever written, the kind that makes reading a great experience and finishing it a regret. The author is at the top of the tree in writing on England in World War II, capturing the humour, the spirit, the highs and lows of the time through the eyes and activities of characters so well drawn that you believe you know them and feel that this is how it was as the phoney war moved into real war and those effected adjusted to it and in many cases became unlikely heroes.


East of Varley Head: Stories from Port Isaac, North Cornwall, 1944-1950
East of Varley Head: Stories from Port Isaac, North Cornwall, 1944-1950
by James Platt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.08

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LONG AWAITED FOLLOW-UP OF VILLAGE REMINISCENCES, 20 Jan 2004
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The following review appeared in the "Cornish Guardian" newspaper, issue of 15th January 2004, written by "Cornish Guardian" staff reporter Alistair Wreford.
"Former Port Isaac lad James Platt's long-awaited follow-up to his first book of reminiscences of life in the village in the 1940's, has just been published. His first book, "Skittery Grass", was published at the beginning of 2003, and consisted of poems current during James's childhood.
It proved a great success and prompted his second volume, "East of Varley Head", in which he writes with obvious affection and amazing attention to detail of the Port Isaac of his early youth.
James left Port Isaac in 1957 for a career as a mining geologist. He now lives in Holland, but returns regularly to the village to visit family and friends. He recently organised a reunion of "the Class of '44" for his former classmates at the village school, among whom the new book is sure to find a ready market.
In "East of Varley Head" James is at his best when describing the village characters, which he does with great affection and a neat turn of phrase.
Although the contents are specific to Port Isaac, readers from further afield will recognise the "good old buggers" from the villages of their own childhoods, epitomising the characteristic Cornish irreverence and stoicissm in the face of hardship, of which James and his contemporaries appear to have had their full share.
All aspects of life are covered in the book - the celebrations of "Guy Fox Night" and Christmas, the arrival of the first television in the village, beachcombing, and even a graphic account of catching rabbits at harvest time, a delight which came to an end, along with the delicacy rabbit pie, with the arrival of myxomatosis.
"Everything in 'East of Varley Head' is 'according to me', by which I suppose that the way I remember people and events won't necessarily be identical to the recollections of others!" said James after his recent return to the village for the school reunion.
"I hope that readers will find some humour on the pages, as, although I have always tried to tell it as it was, I tried to see the humour in situations as well".
East of Varley Head is a treasure for anyone interested in Cornwall as it used to be, a time not so long ago, remembered by anyone over 45 but now long, long gone".


Pale Horse Coming
Pale Horse Coming
by Hunter
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero for all time, 29 Oct 2001
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This review is from: Pale Horse Coming (Hardcover)
This is, quite simply, a tremendous thriller. The novels by Stephen Hunter featuring Earl Swagger and his son Bob Lee are the most exciting being written today. Their publication is an event. Earl and Bob Lee have a solidity and total integrity that inspires. You would go through any door, no matter what might lie behind it, with one of them behind you. You feel deeply for Earl's suffering at the hands of evil in the centre part of this novel, but you are carried along in the full knowledge that Earl is going to survive all the odds and come back, and you feel sorry for those who torment him and don't know yet that the pale horse will come and what the consequences for them will be. This novel is better than "Hot Springs", its predecessor, and very well in the same top drawer class as "Dirty White Boys" and the magnificent "Time to Hunt", both tour de forces by Stephen Hunter. Those who have yet to read "Pale Horse Coming" have a treat in store.


Black House
Black House
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dull night, sometimes illuminated by flashes of lightning, 17 Oct 2001
This review is from: Black House (Hardcover)
"The Talisman", to which "Black House" is a sequel, was a classic of excitement and imagination. It left me anxious for more. I received the news of its impending sequel with huge anticipation, and could barely contain myself to get my hands on "Black House" immediately following its publication. The resulting disappointment I felt in reading "Black House" then ran so deep. "Black House" is not, for me, the sequel that "The Talisman" merited. Long, tedious passages are only marginally relieved by flashes of inspiration. The respective styles of the co-authors have made a conflicting marriage in this case. I finished the book out of a sense of duty to Stephen King, but was not unhappy to get there.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2013 7:16 AM GMT


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