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The Gum Thief
The Gum Thief
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 10 Dec. 2007
This review is from: The Gum Thief (Paperback)
I'd rate Eleanor Rigby and, especially, Hey Nostradamus! as being among the best novels I've read in the past few years - novels which use an elliptical style and apparently disconnected narrative threads to communicate something of the reality of this, our relativist, incoherent but fascinating culture. This one, however, is weak: unrealised characters who 'live' existences now too reminiscent of other Coupland creations; a meandering and at times very slow, eventless plot; and a punchless ending.

I like the guy's best work enormously, but I'm hoping the next one's a lot better.

1982, Janine
1982, Janine
by Alasdair Gray
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great C20th Scottish novels..., 11 Mar. 2007
This review is from: 1982, Janine (Hardcover)
...up there with Sunset Song, in my humble opinion (and I should say that the latter, read when I was 14, was the novel for me which made fiction seemt he greatest thing in the world). Far better than Lanark - tighter, more humane, funnier and more serious. A wonder.

Whit Lassyz Ur Inty
Whit Lassyz Ur Inty
by Alison Flett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ever had the feeling you've been cheated?, 21 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Whit Lassyz Ur Inty (Paperback)
To say reading this was a disappointment understates the case hugely. I bought the volume to see what the excitement was about, immediately recognised one or two of the poems from several years ago (when the writer published as Alison Kermack) groaned but read on. I really shouldn't have. It is one thing for a poet to be heavily influenced by, or even to "borrow" certain aspects of the style of voice of another: but the ventriloquist act maintained by taking over another poet's voice entirely is not a "wilful adaption of male dominated urban poetic language", merely a wilful and ultimately pointless refusal to do the thing which every genuine writer has to do - find his/her own voice. Flett advances the use of urban poetic language not one inch from where it was left by Tom Leonard 20+ years ago. And applying certain of Leonard's narrative techniques as well as his voice to what are very much one-dimensional, hackneyed treatments of wumman's issues merely aggravates the offence. "Gloriously playful language...artful, mischevious love" my arse: never trust an overwritten blurb.

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