Profile for S. Bowie > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by S. Bowie
Top Reviewer Ranking: 562,173
Helpful Votes: 91

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
S. Bowie (Melton Mowbray Leics)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fifteen Shades of Black, 14 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Casual Vacancy (Hardcover)
I have listened to half of this in audiobook form and, quite honestly, life is too short to devote another six hours to it.
JK Rowling's strengths as demonstrated in Harry Potter are brisk pace, tight and intricate plotting, remarkable imagination and a driving narrative. The absence of any of these elements from The Casual Vacancy expose her weaknesses as a writer; two dimensional characters and cliched dialogue.
In her eagerness to present this novel as a new departure,she mistakenly equates hard hitting realism with unrelenting negativity and social disfunction with dystopia, with deeply depressing results.
The reader is bombarded with every human venality; domestic violence, bullying, child abuse, drug abuse, self harm, petty and serious crime, rape, racism,sexism, intolerance of every kind laced with observations of society's failing attempts to address its ills through the education system and social services. Fifteen shades of black applied with a very thick paintbrush and absolutely none of the light to provide the necessary balance to clearly illuminate the human condition.
The characters don't engage sympathy or any desire to read on and discover their fate. I found the frequent, profane language irritating and gratuitous rather than offensive, it characterises the heavy handed approach which renders much of the novel's dialogue unrealistic and stilted.
I applaud JK Rowling's desire to explore the darker side of society, but feel the writing is much too intense and leaves readers with little opportunity to make their own connections and conclusions. It's a bit like having someone invade your personal space and lecture you when telling a joke or a story would make their point far more effectively.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2012 9:45 PM GMT


Be My Love - A Tribute to Mario Lanza
Be My Love - A Tribute to Mario Lanza
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A technical and emotional triumph, 24 Sep 2012
It can't be denied that all the tracks can be classified as populist and crowd pleasing but Calleja balances expertly on the very fine line between virtuosity and saccharine romanticism and gives finely judged performances of every song.His voice is perfectly complemented by the BBC Orchestra, with many beautiful instrumental moments adding to the mix.
I happily admit to being a sucker for sentiment and sat back to let this wonderful music work its magic.I defy anyone to hear the last 3 tracks and not choke back a tear! The only way it could have been improved for me would be the inclusion of Franz Lehar's "You are my Hearts Delight", as I'm convinced Joseph could top even Placido Domingo's rendition on the 3 Tenors.


State of Wonder
State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My number 1 book this year, 5 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: State of Wonder (Paperback)
I have little to add to other reveiwer's comments other than to record how much I enjoyed this book and to recommend it highly. It is beautifully written; challenging on many levels yet very accessible. In placing an unseasoned traveller in an alien landscape it has very strong echoes of Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible.


Bleeding Kansas
Bleeding Kansas
by Sara Paretsky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.60

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To redress the balance!, 19 April 2008
This review is from: Bleeding Kansas (Hardcover)
I would be sad if the one star and the one very negative review on display here were to put anyone off reading this excellent book.
The previous reviewer has given us a very detailed account of the plot.
This book is has far more to offer than plot. Sara Paretsky is an immensely talented writer who gives all her characters life and motivation and provokes her readers to think beyond the book.
In Bleeding Kansas she deals with big themes; smalltown America's attitude war in Iraq, fundamentalist Christianity,grief,sexuality and witchcraft to mention a few. The dramas are all acted out on the limited stage of a farming community in rural Kansas and it is with consummate skill that Paretsky draws all the threads together to demonstrate how global issues affect ordinary people. As in the VI Warshawski books, she has you rooting for the good guys and hating the bad ones. There are some great set piece scenes combining high comedy and tragedy. I couldn't put it down and urge you to read it in the hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.


Anybody Out There?
Anybody Out There?
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marian Does it Again, 8 Mar 2006
This review is from: Anybody Out There? (Hardcover)
It was with great surprise and delight that I spotted this, on 19th February in Leeds Bradford Airport; the best holiday read one could wish for.
Marian is the queen of chick lit and in my opinion her best novels are about the Walsh family. Anybody Out There? concerns Anna, the fourth daughter and includes a mini, e mail plot involving Helen, the youngest and most eccentric.For the first time since Rachel's Holiday we meet all the girls together again and our curiosity about their lives is well satisfied. Mammy Walsh continues to be absolutely barking and serves up some hysterical one liners in her attempts to steamroller a family wedding. Marian deftly steers an emotional roller coaster
of a plot to a very satisfying conclusion.
It's like a big box of irresisitible chocolates; you gobble it all up as fast as you can then wish you hadn't finished it so quickly!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2009 11:39 PM GMT


Page: 1