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NickR (UK)

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The Silver Spoon (Cookery)
The Silver Spoon (Cookery)
by Phaidon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Huge and comprehensive, 3 Jan. 2016
I do like this book, but would just echo a couple of previous reviewers' comments: it's not for complete novices; and it's as much a recipe book for Italians as it is a book of Italian recipes. With those caveats, it's excellent.

Phaidon, when you next reprint could you please do it with two bookmark ribbons, not just one? The nature of the recipes in this book means one often has two dishes on the go at the same time, for even a simple meal, and an extra marker would really help.


The Brewer of Preston
The Brewer of Preston
Price: £7.47

2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch, 18 Dec. 2015
Fairly amusing, but not a patch on the Montalbano series. Even the usually excellent translator, Stephen Sartarelli, seems uninspired in this book.


My Dog Tulip
My Dog Tulip
Dvd
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Warts-and-all gorgeous, 4 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: My Dog Tulip (Amazon Video)
Utterly unsentimental, observed with eye-watering detail, this isn't a film for everyone - but dog-owners will understand it, particularly the observations on a dog's unwavering trust and honesty.


Slade House
Slade House
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but., 11 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Slade House (Hardcover)
The story-telling is terrific, the range of narrative voices is virtuosic, and the novel is a series of time-discrete tales. So far so David Mitchell, and pretty good. Also, the book has a wonderful jacket.

For Mitchell fans like me this book is good entertainment and definitely worth reading, and for the author, it will probably be a good earner. Still, I hope he won't get diverted into short-form horror writing - not least because nobody, but nobody, beats M R James. Mitchell is at his best in bigger books, where the scale of the issues and the humanity of the characters are allowed room to develop. To his credit, he hasn't yet put a foot wrong, and you can't say that of every author.


A Game for All the Family
A Game for All the Family
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars and I nearly liked it a lot, 20 Oct. 2015
This was the first book I had read by Sophie Hannah, and I nearly liked it a lot. The first two thirds was very gripping - after that it went to pieces. Interesting, though, and I think I'll try some of her earlier books.

A couple of trivial observations:
1) My daughter's name is Justine, like one of the main characters. My mother's name was Olwen, like another. Like the author, I used to live in Cambridge. Also, like the author, I gather, I have a Welsh Terrier (two, actually) with which I am besotted. So of course I had to read this book.
2) It looks to me (a man) as if 95% of the reviews are by women. Don't men read Sophie Hannah? If not, why not?


Salter Big Button Timer
Salter Big Button Timer
Price: £7.12

1.0 out of 5 stars Really bad, 13 Oct. 2015
I used to have a big, clunky, wonderful Salter timer, which lasted about 15 years. This one is awful. The time advance either does nothing or skips forward two or three minutes. The button rotates, falls out, or stops and then restarts the timer. A load of rubbish. The Salter name used to be one you could trust.


Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay
Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay
by William Boyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We all grow old, 7 Oct. 2015
Not one of Boyd's best. His main character is not very engaging. The plot is too linear and episodic. This is more a tour of the high spots of 70 years than a novel with any great depth. Memes are predictably introduced (WW1, early feminism, WW2, landed gentryism, Vietnam, hippy communes...) and swiftly ticked off. The ending is mildly weepy, but the rationale for it lacks credibility.

Nobody should be criticised for growing up - and I guess that's a theme of this book - but I do miss the early Boyd...


The Critic: An Enzo Macleod Investigation (The Enzo Files)
The Critic: An Enzo Macleod Investigation (The Enzo Files)
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1.0 out of 5 stars After his Lewis books, what a disappointment, 15 July 2015
A thin, implausible plot, poor characterisation, a mishmash of offhand gender stereotypes and national stereotypes - I can hardly believe this nonsense was written by Peter May. Has Jeffrey Archer been moonlighting?


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good., 11 Jun. 2015
Very poor, and not up to the usual Kong standards. It flops, it folds in the wind, it won't fly straight. I'll be going back to the regular, indestructible, high-flying large Classic Flyer, which is superb.


Darkness at Pemberley
Darkness at Pemberley
by T H White
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise, 1 May 2015
This review is from: Darkness at Pemberley (Paperback)
This book was an early blind alley in White's writing career, so I'd expected to be disappointed. Yes, it's a bit ragged in places, the characterisation is thin, and some of the inter-war thriller tropes are pushed to the limit (e.g. the disgraced baronet's staff being reduced to 'just sixteen') but the dramatic premises are exciting, almost Greek in their elemental simplicity. As has been said, think Geoffrey Household, Erskine Childers, Rider Haggard. It was a good read, and I'm sorry that White never gave Inspector Buller another outing. (Did he?)


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