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J. Choppin (East Anglia)
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The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 July 2014
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Excellent, excellent, excellent! It has been a privilege to share the insight of Don, a man with Asperger's Syndrome. I say 'with', rather than the usual 'suffer from', as we learn that his mind, like everyone else's, functions differently. Don and Rosie and wonderfully drawn characters, whose emotions and behaviour, whilst perfectly believable, having turning each page eagerly, until you feel bereft by finishing the book. The most enjoyable book I have read in years, all too quickly consumed! Absolutely Wonderful!


69 for 1
69 for 1
Price: 4.30

4.0 out of 5 stars I love reading the best out loud to others who would ..., 16 July 2014
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This review is from: 69 for 1 (Kindle Edition)
Snippets of words, usually with a little tongue in cheek smile, to savour. I love reading the best out loud to others who would not otherwise come across Alan's work. Human observation at its best in bite-sized chunks!


Another World
Another World
Price: 3.95

5.0 out of 5 stars ... presenting real people whose lives across the generations contain love and violence, 16 July 2014
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This review is from: Another World (Kindle Edition)
Pat Barker strokes our emotions by presenting real people whose lives across the generations contain love and violence. Another World's beautiful prose is gripping and yet slightly disturbing, insisting we confront issues in our own lives.


The Ship of Brides
The Ship of Brides
Price: 3.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed, 16 July 2014
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Having been overwhelmed by Jojo Moyes' Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, I am underwhelmed by this book which is frankly trivial, predictable, even boring!


An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched - a very human story, 17 Mar 2014
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I approached this book with caution, finding Harris's later works not as gripping as his earlier novels, but the underlying storyline is still vital after over a decade and his description of the human emotions brought Paris of 1900 to life. The sense of misplaced loyalty and the commitment to truth nearly overturned the French government and has lost none of its power today. It should be compulsory reading for all politicians, as well as the senior military.


212 Things You Never Knew About The Summer Olympic Games
212 Things You Never Knew About The Summer Olympic Games

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for quizzes, 5 Feb 2013
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This was purchased during the London Olympics and may have currency in future Olympics as a topical book. Meanwhile it is good for quizzes.


The Garden of Evening Mists
The Garden of Evening Mists

5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettlingly different, 5 Feb 2013
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The Garden of Evening Mists is set high in the mountains where a number of well constructed charaters live. Outwardly the main characters are attempting to find peace and beauty symbolised by the Japanese garden in which form, perspective and allusion are constructed in harmony, against the background of incredible violence and inhumanity in an outside world formed by the Second World War on the Malayan Peninsular. I was entranced by the mixture of mystery and half suspected truths that inhabit this mountain retreat of Buddhist monasteries and tea plantations, with Japanese traditions and history. I am left feeling that I too have experienced the Garden of Evening Mists.


A Beautiful Lie
A Beautiful Lie
Price: 5.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-rending, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: A Beautiful Lie (Kindle Edition)
This is a picture of a different world, seen through a boy's eyes. India, still coming to terms with the idea of independence, is being torn apart by sectarian differences. This is incomprehensible to the boy and his friends, whom incidentally cross all the religious divides. Well written, this book accurately portrays the effects of religious fervour. It is about the separation of Pakistan from India, but the same effects have been seen since in numerous areas of the world, and indeed are still occurring today. The essential truth and goodness in the behaviour of these boys set against the bigotry of their communities stirred my heart. I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it.


The Litigators
The Litigators
Price: 3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Standard Grisham, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Litigators (Kindle Edition)
It is amazing that Grisham continues to find new stories within the USA legal battleground. I will admit to a certain bias from the start of this book, because the concept of ambulance chasing and litigating on every product grievance has done damage to the States, making manufacturers calculate the cost of getting things wrong against the value of being safe, and because this culture is busy making everyday life in the UK ever more expensive. Again the characters were a little disappointing, predictable and un-imaginative. Nevertheless, it was a good read, but not one of his best.


The Cruel Sea
The Cruel Sea
Price: 5.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Still magnificent !, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
I first read this book in the 1950s when we were still conscious of the war years and the concept of civilians fighting for their country. It was one of the most memorable books of my youth, which impression was further strengthened by the film. Re-reading it now, I am struck by how faithfully the film followed the original writing and could not read the dialogue without hearing Jack Hawkin's voice. It was never either a pro- or anti-war book, but one concerned to portray the effects of war, the onslaught on human dignity and the amazing resilience demonstrated by so many ordinary people. As Monsarrat observed, the main battle was against the Atlantic, whilst the humans spent their days in conflict. It was a crucial time, survival of our way of life often meant the destruction of many ordinary seamen. The sheer scale of the Atlantic war, the number of ships involved and the tremendous loss of ships and men, was something I had forgotten. The book still gripped me from beginning to end. The quality of the writing and the ability to portray realism in all its starkness, whilst holding on to the essential goodness of humanity, has again stirred me. I am still coming to terms with these thoughts. Greatly recommended!


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