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Fahrenheit 451 (Flamingo Modern Classics)
Fahrenheit 451 (Flamingo Modern Classics)
by Ray Bradbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, original short novel., 10 Jan 2012
This book is amazing. Itfs small, but at the same time it's message is so enormous. The premise for the story: books are illegal, is wonderfully handled. There are so many dystopia novels out there, itfs hard not to become sick of them, but this novel has something a little different. It is very obviously written by a man who loves literature and books from the bottom of his heart. He handles the plot magnificently, but what stood out for me, was his beautiful writing. Vivid descriptions and metaphors were dotted throughout the novel and make it the success it is. It is a book that appreciates books, literature about literature. The ending of the novel is so simple and magically done, you feel itfs obvious; this is Bradburyfs skill.

The character Clarisse stood out for me, her character epitomising all that is good and being lost in eFahrenheit 451. She is a free thinker, and that makes her scary to the likes of Mildred and Beatty, drones of society. Clarisse and Guy form a unique relationship which brings both characters alive, as she opens Guys eyes. We follow Guy on his journey of self awakening, spell bound until the very end.

The book is full of senseless death and futuristic machines, but it also has a familiar feel to it, and itfs this familiarity which gives it a plausibility that is truly chilling.

I seriously recommend this small but powerful book.

Revision Express AS and A2 General Studies ('A' LEVEL REVISE GUIDES)
Revision Express AS and A2 General Studies ('A' LEVEL REVISE GUIDES)
by Mr Anthony Batchelor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good solid revision book, 1 Jan 2012
This revision book looks fairly daunting and comes with a very complicated system to tell you whether the information on each page is relevant to your board. I found that most pages were not relevant to the AQA board. However, for those on alternative boards it may prove more useful. It provides a wealth of basic knowledge to those wishing to make sure they have a clear understanding of what could appear in the exam. It's set out well, and is easy to learn and revise from.

It is worth noting though that General Studies exams are often focused on issues that are current. This book was written in 2008 and is therefore unable to provide the reader with information on recent events and new scientific developments.

Edexcel A2 English Literature Student Book
Edexcel A2 English Literature Student Book
by Richard Hoyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.48

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Money could be better spent, 1 Jan 2012
I was instructed to get the AS Level version of this book for year 12, as we used the exercises in it during class. However I purchased the A2 version of my own accord and in all honestly have found it unhelpful. It contains the same sort of exercises as the AS version - tedious, boring and seemingly aimed at 11 year olds. Some of the key words are useful to learn and the few help boxes dotted around are of use, but in general the book is not worth the money.

The reason it is so unhelpful is that at A2 Level it is much more important to simply know the books you are going to take into the exam thoroughly. I thought the book, being written by the exam board, would contain secrets about what they are looking for in the exam and in the coursework. However it contains nothing that cannot be learnt from a good look at the freely available mark schemes. It is also very general, covering all the different text and coursework options available, most of which will not be relevant to you, making the rather pricey £12.85 not worth it.

Buy this if you want to revise for the exam by spending time doing endless little tasks, but as a student myself I would recommend individual critical help books focused on the books you are studying, not this. The majority of the book will show you examples based on texts you are not studying, the only really helpful section is the section on getting started with the coursework side of things.

In case you are still considering buying this book, this is what it covers:

- A section on tackling the unseen poetry/prose
- A section on the text based section of the exam (introduction, comparing by theme/genre/period, comparing texts by context, comparing interpretations)
- A section on choosing text/topic/approach to coursework
- A section on planning and researching coursework
- A section on how to write coursework (again there is a lot here that won't be relevant to the coursework you are doing)

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