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Profile for Timothy Adler > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Timothy Adler "Tim Adler" (London, England)
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The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing
Price: £3.32

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, 2 Nov. 2015
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This is on another level to Peter Swanson's enjoyable debut THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART. At first, it seems a retread of Patricia Highsmith's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (there's a meta moment when characters even discuss Highsmith). Then Swanson pulls off a brilliant and totally unexpected twist that sends the book in a different direction. Honestly, I could not swipe the pages of my Kindle fast enough, desperate to know what happens next. And what more do you want from a thrille than that?


The Magus (Vintage Classics)
The Magus (Vintage Classics)
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Despite everything, it's compulsively readable, 19 Feb. 2015
Turn the last page and... what a pile of piffle.

There's something of a schoolboy-ish wank about "The Magus", frantically tugging away going, "I'msoclever, i'msoclever, i'msoclever." Parts are horribly clumpily written... sometimes it's the most appalling hogwash. One passage in particular where he lets rip at the English bourgeoisie is sneeringly adolescent. He doesn't seem to grasp that no hard any of us try, none of us gets to escape.

And yet, and yet...

I overshot my commuter train stop twice because I was so engrossed in the unfolding mystery. Like peeling an onion, the mystery is compulsive.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2015 2:39 PM GMT


Live and Let Die: James Bond 007
Live and Let Die: James Bond 007
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully visceral, 16 Jan. 2015
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My God Fleming could write. Okay, some of the casual racism grates and parts of the book read like a travelogue, but Fleming is a wonderfully visceral writer. If only the Bond filmmakers had the nerve to re-film the books as period stories ... a more Bulldog Drummond Bond powering along in his Bentley racing car. Are you listening Eon?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2015 11:19 PM BST


Difficult Men: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
Difficult Men: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A better book waiting to be written, 30 Dec. 2014
I really wanted to love this book.

However what a venal, childish and egotistical bunch these showrunners turn out to be. Plied with snacks and food and things to play with in their writers' rooms, the team behind "Breaking Bad" spends three days coming up with a minor plot detail that ultimately gets dropped. For a jobbing writer such as myself, the luxury of having days to come up with plot details as opposed to whatever time I can carve out while looking at myself in the shaving mirror seems unimaginable.

Brett Martin has clearly identified a phenomenon that has not only transformed TV but even how we interact with it socially through Twitter and our tablet computers. Binging on box sets has become a standard way to enjoy yourself.

Yet Martin has a painfully portentous writing style: "Sopranos" creator David Chase and his wife don't just like eating in the same restaurant, they are "creatures of gustatory habit." Or, talking about the decline in churchgoing, "...we are so many children in the wilderness, oyster spat drifting in search of something to attach to" ... eh? And what's "postfeminist discourse" when it's at home?

I suspect that, just as "The Movie Brats: How The Film Generation Took Over Hollywood" by Michael Pye and Lynda Myles, identified the phenomenon of the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas generation early on, so there's another book about this Age of the Box Set waiting to be written -- perhaps in the same multiple viewpoint style as "Edie". TV is, after all, a social phenomenon, isn't it?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2016 3:56 AM GMT


Watercress But No Sandwiches: 300 Years of the Columbia Road Area
Watercress But No Sandwiches: 300 Years of the Columbia Road Area
by Linda Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 28 Nov. 2014
Having read Linda Wilkinson's book about Columbia Road, I read her previous local history of the wider area. What a marvellous historian she is -- if the BBC is looking for a follow-up to the CALL THE MIDWIFE it need look no further. Highly recommended.


Columbia Road - a Strange Kind of Paradise
Columbia Road - a Strange Kind of Paradise
by Linda Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling local history, 28 Nov. 2014
What an enthralling local history of Columbia Road this is. I have just moved into the area and Linda Wilkinson's book is a must-read for any local resident. The accretion of detail is astonishing. What a fine local historian Linda Wilkinson is and I look forward to reading her other books.


Cartwheel: A Novel
Cartwheel: A Novel
Price: £7.38

3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg, 30 Oct. 2014
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Ostensibly a fictionalised account of the Amanda Knox murder trial, the book circles the different perspectives of those involved in the case -- and how each of them projects themselves onto the somewhat amorphous character of the Knox character. Parts of it are exquisitely written, the acme of good writing. Other paragraphs are meaningless twaddle that I had to re-read two or three time to get the sense of them. A frustrating book.


Mrs. Hemingway
Mrs. Hemingway
Price: £4.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely written, 3 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mrs. Hemingway (Kindle Edition)
Exquisitely written. Naomi Wood has taken great care in choosing absolutely the right word -- as Hemingway himself might have done. It's like reading a book carefully written using a sable brush and an eyeglass.

If the author is reading this review, I do have one question: why did she choose to write in the present tense?


Restless
Restless
Price: £5.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly performance, 22 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Restless (Kindle Edition)
As a would-be thriler writer myself, RESTLESS is the paragon to which I aspire. It's like watching a concert pianist playing the piano -- you marvel at his descriptive talent, how, as a man, he really seems to get in the head of his heroine. The top note has to be the sequence in New Mexico where Eva is sent on a courier mission.

I first read the book on a transatlantic flight to Washington DC and was actually glad to wake up at some godforskaen hour with jetlag so I could get my nose into the next chaper.


An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous book, 12 July 2014
Like Fatherland, An Officer and a Spy is about an official who discovers something rotten at the core of the society he has so far belived in -- except that An Officer and a Spy is about the true-life Dreyfus scandal where an innocent Jewish army officer was wrongfully convicted of treason. The Dreyfus Affair as it was known cracked French society down the middle, and was a fault line that led to Jewish persecution in the Thirties and during the Second World War, and even today with our tabloid obsession about immigrants.

Robert Harris, along with William Boyd, is probably the finest thriller writer working in the English language today. As with The Day of the Jackal, knowing the outcome of the story does not stop it from being utterly gripping. And Harris's dialogue gets better and better -- probably a result from working with Roman Polanski on his screenplay for The Ghost. Polanski gave Harris the idea of writing this marvellous book. Let's hope they collaborate on the film adaptation.


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