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Yours Truly, Pierre Stone
Yours Truly, Pierre Stone
by Sam Bain
Edition: Paperback

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different but lacking something, 4 Jun. 2002
This is easy to read, quite boring at times, has its moments, but ultimately fails to stimulate. Written as a series of letters from a mentally challenged fan, no real flow can ever be established, and sometimes i had the feeling he was writing for writings sake, just to fill up a few more pages. However, Sam Bain does manage to make the reader feel for Pierre Stone, and some of the references to Sonic the Hedgehog and other early nineties nostalgia brought back some old memories.

by Chuck Palahniuk
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another original hit from Chucky P., 10 May 2002
This review is from: Choke (Paperback)
Not quite Fight Club - I bet he's sick of hearing that - but close to it, and definitely alongside Survivor.
This is a look at life from a different perspective to Chuck's previous protagonists - through the eyes of Victor Mancini, a guy who's told he was created from Jesus Christ's DNA, works as a 18th century farmer in a 'living-museum', picks up girls from a sexaholic ananoymous clinic, and fakes choking in restaurants to get attention. Yes, another mix of dark satirism and twisted thoughts from a modern literary god.
This time around, though, the focus is on starting a fresh, and constructing your own identity from scratch. Definitely more optimistic than any of his previous books, and a must read for a Palahniuk fans and those who haven't a clue who he is - although I'd begin with Fight Club first, for a better introduction to the man.

Concrete Island
Concrete Island
by J. G. Ballard
Edition: Paperback

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy, crazy stuff!!!, 10 May 2002
This review is from: Concrete Island (Paperback)
"A man crashes into a traffic island and has to stay there - what can possible happen here?" I asked myself that question, not knowing what to expect. In fact, I couldn't see where, if anywhere, Ballard could go. But, intrigued, I gave it a go - and how wrong was I!!
The lead character, a doctor with little morals, begins life on the island as a useless case, struggling to sustain himself with food or water. But things change when he realises he isn't alone - there's not only another person living there, but two, totally contrasting human beings. And so the struggle to survive and ultimately leave the island begins.
The most interesting part of this novel: out of all the devious and dispicable acts committed on the island - the two inhabitants being a control freak and, well, a kind of inbred prehistoric man - the most calculated, gruesome act is carried out by the intelligent doctor. And it is he - the intelligent, sholared and succesful man - who's desire to be the most dominant is the greatest. It's almost like a survival of the fittest he's playing with himself. Is Ballard saying something about our own innate humanity here? Perhaps.
All in all a very entertaing read which, as another reviewr described, 'sticks in your side like a thorn'.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2009 4:04 PM BST

Mao II
Mao II
by Don Delillo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Supremely written., 10 May 2002
This review is from: Mao II (Paperback)
DeLillo's intelligence is astounding; his observations seem to clarify many uncatergorised fears that makes us 'all to human'; the scope and depth of his imagination is frightening: and all in all this is definitely a fantastic read.
In a nutshell, the plot is secondary to the ideas and themes that run throughout this epic novel - the power of imagery (photgraphs, mainly) and words, global terrorism and movements. Of these themes, the most striking is the photograph, and, in a sense, how the definite image of an event has come to resemble more than the reality itself.
The central characters are a female photographer and a reclusive author, who come together for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot of the hermit novelist, and it is the build-up and culmination of this which makes up the rest of the novel. The exchange here is one of the most brilliantly written, thoughtful, most inspiring pieces fo literature I've ever read, and i recommend everyone to give it a go merely for this alone.
Can't say too much about the plot, since there isn't really one. But, if a storyline is essential to your enjoyment of a book, I suggest leaving this alone . . . On second thoughts - give it a go and it'll probably change your stance.
For this reason, though, it loses one star.

The Vampire Lestat (Second Volume of the Vampire Chronicles)
The Vampire Lestat (Second Volume of the Vampire Chronicles)
by Anne Rice
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most alluring vampire of them all., 10 May 2002
I have to say that I was blown away. Completely blown away. Utterly.
I'm a 23 year-old male who's favourite reads are the kind churned out by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) and Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), so needless to say I was a bit sceptical when a friend recomended - what i thought was - a 'romantic, gothic horror/vampire novel'.
And i have to admit that I was completely and utterly surprised, absorbed, hooked, and in total admiration for the character 'Lestat'.
Anne Rice writes with such beauty and lucidity that you can't help but emphasise Lestat, and though he can often be cruel and erratic, he is easily one of the most charming, amazing characters I've ever read of. I was so astounded that on finishing the book, for a moment I wanted him to come and turn me - sad, I know, but that was it's charm.
Rice creates an enchanting world, bringing us right the way from post revolutionary France to the late 80's where Lestat has transformed himself into - perfectly in context for the modern way of life - a rock-star!!! Brilliant!!
The only thing that prevents this from getting 5 stars is that sometimes the passages are too descriptive.
I want to be a vampire!!! (joke)

The Informers
The Informers
by Bret Easton Ellis
Edition: Paperback

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work - but have a look, anyway., 10 May 2002
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
Apparently this was writen before American Psycho but was held back because it wasn't thought of too highly by the publishers. After the overwhelming success of 'AP' this was given the go ahead some years later, the publishers certain that those who lapped-up his previous work would buy this without a second thought.
It makes me wonder: if this was his debut, what would we be saying about this author?
The Informers is a collection of short stories loosely held together by one or two characters who flit in and out of a few, and includes narratives from fading rock-stars, vampires, drug abusers, and characters in the mould of 'Clay' from Less Than Zero - angst-ridden, self destructing teens.
It is sometimes hard to follow and difficult to make the connections between the many characters, but often Ellis sucks you in and spits you out with a ball of low-life going-ons and and the care-free abuse of under-age girls - by Vampires, no less. Yes, like his other work, sometimes it is a little hard to stomach.
All in all I'd rank this in last place of all his 5 works, but the rest are of such high quality that this is no fair reflection on this dark, humerous and sometimes-grotesque read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2011 7:12 PM BST

The Rules of Attraction
The Rules of Attraction
by Bret Easton Ellis
Edition: Paperback

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of great things., 10 May 2002
If, like me, you've read his more recent works first, don't expect anything along the lines of his modern classics 'Glamorama' and 'American Psycho'. Instead, put it in context with his catalogue of work - released after the disturbing 'Less Than Zero' and before the equally bleak and nihilistic 'The Informers' - and marvel at Ellis' literary evolution from infective, late-teen angst-ridden drama, through to the polished novels of the aforementioned.
'The Rules of Attraction' is essentially a tense, confused, sexually liberated look at life on college campus during the 80's America - fuelled by a cocktail of alcohol, drugs, sex, 80's music and angst. The narrative is first-person, and Ellis flits from character to character, giving us alternate perspectives of the same events - often with both hilarious and disturbing paradoxes. As if life for the characters here.
The book focuses around Paul Denton, a bi-sexual student; Lauren Hyde (Yes, Lauren from 'Glamorama'); and Shaun Bateman (a moody, not-so-open bi-sexual), in a full blooded love-triangle. There are also fleeting appearances from Victor Ward (Glamorama), Pat Bateman (American Psycho), and Clay (Less Than Zero) - the forst two showing they're potential (particularly Victor); the latter showing that he's Ellis has moved on by remaining secondary through out.
Not quite as good as 'LTZ', but still definitely worth a read if you're into Ellis...

The Great Gatsby (Penguin Popular Classics)
The Great Gatsby (Penguin Popular Classics)
by F Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Catcher In The Rye, 21 Mar. 2002
I'm often reluctant to read the pre-war classics. I prefer contemporary books and usually can't associate myself with old books. Sometimes however, like with Catcher In the Rye, I'll force myself to pick one up and make myself read it right the way through.
Like with Cathcer in the rye, I was blown away by The Great Gatsby, surprised by how, though written almost a centiry ago, it reflects the modern ethics. The language and sentences are almost a blue-print for writing that followed, conjuring up the elegant and cut-throat twenties for what they were (apparently; i don't know - I'm onlt 22). And although I've heard of TGG many times, I was surprised at the direction the plot took and the consequences shocked me yet, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense.
Ultimately, this book should be read by all those who enjoy reading, particularly those who're interested in the evolution of the novel. Fantastic, though looses a star because i wanted more.

Winners And Sinners [VHS]
Winners And Sinners [VHS]
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £18.30

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem!!!, 27 Feb. 2002
One of the funniest films I've ever seen . . . intentionally and unintetnionally. Some of the scenes are comic genuis, and the fact it's all low budget and poorly shot makes it even more hilarious. Dubbed over American accents give a bit of flavour too. Treat it with your tongue in your cheek, and you'll be showing it to all your friends!!!

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely breathtaking., 27 Feb. 2002
I'm usually too lazy to watch films with subtitles - but after seeing this beauty I'm on the look out for more.
Roberto Benigni manages to make you laugh out loud and feel sick through depsair all at the very same time, and although a tragic story of the holocuast in Italy, it is the most uplifting film you could ever want to see. So much did this movie make an impression on me, i watched a modern movie - fast cars, busty women, drugs etc. - and at the end, when the main characters were being killed or whatever, and devoid of any emotional connection with the characters, i suddenly thought of this film and shed tears. THAT is its power!!!
Will have you weeping joy and pain, and I really still can't get over the ending.

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