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Prodigal Summer
Prodigal Summer
by Barbara Kingsolver
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book but the nature theme is overdone!, 29 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Prodigal Summer (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book. The separate stories of the two main female characters are strogly linked by nature. The themes of nature are described well and used as themes for some of the characters and their lives. Contrasts are drawn between the verdant and natural splendour of the habitat in the mountain/forest and the farming community in the valley where everyone works hard to scratch a living out of the land.

However, after a while the description and analogies drawn using nature and reproduction begin to wear on you. I also don't think that the character of Deanna who lived in the mountain was very clearly explored.

A good read though.

Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not as good as Birdsong, 29 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Charlotte Gray (Paperback)
This is a good book about the second world war. However, as with all Sebastian Faulks books, it needs a good edit. The characters are good and the situation in Occupied France is interesting. There are a few sub-plots and hidden/underlying traits about Charlotte that I don't think really worked. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it but think Birdsong and Engleby are better books by Sebastian Faulks.

Overall though, the best book to read for an account of war (although it is the first world war)is All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque.

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic and flabby, 29 Aug. 2011
This is a really poor book by Dan Brown. I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons but once I had read the other books by Dan Brown it was clear he had a set formula for his books. However, knowing this was the case, I still opened up The Lost Symbol. However, it is not a great book. It is intriguing in places but is let down by an implausible and meandering plot, poor characters and a very long-winded and weak ending. The short chapters, all of which try to end on a climax, and the repetition of the plot/character backgrounds to remind you of what is going on are annoying.

The masonic theme is interesting and the links with Washington, its symbols and science - but you do question (a lot) whether they are all true. If a book is pure fiction that is fine and you accept that but if the author is stating that everything in the book is fact you want to belive that it is and I couldn't! Also, the fact that the three main characters continue to run around the city to solve clues (whose solution are so disappointing) after being drowned, having their hand cut off and having half their blood drained from their body is just stupid.

All in all, a poor book.

All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written and harrowing book, 29 Aug. 2011
This is a fantastic book. It achieves in 200 pages what many other other authors have tried and failed to achieve. I have enjoyed many books about either the 1st or 2nd world war and many of them are great, such as Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. However, this book is wonderfully written and every word written isn't wasted. The futility and chaos of war is depicted in such an honest, matter of fact but harrowing way. The battles that the main character and his comrades have to survive both physically and mentally are humbling, horrifying and amazing. Not once, as an english reader, do you despise or have any animosity for a group of german soldiers. Instead you sympathise and admire all of those in the book as well as their opponents. A great book all round.

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