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Reviews Written by
G. T. Watkins "Technowomble" (Bristol, UK)
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The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
by Christopher Booker
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.29

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential for a budding author, 15 Feb 2009
Buying this book was one of the best recommendations I have ever received. Writing is easy, if you don't think about it too much. It's easy to write a few thousand words, even a few hundred pages without really developing a plot. If nothing else, this book will distill down for you the importance of the plot and few basic types which you can map your ideas on to.

I bought it, and my writing instantly improved.


Valley Of The Dolls (VMC)
Valley Of The Dolls (VMC)
by Jacqueline Susann
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Still Controversial?, 9 Feb 2009
I picked up Valley of the Dolls after seeing the father in BBC2's The Beautiful People reading it in bed. I figured if it featured in one of current favourite TV series there must be a connection, and oh there was. Valley of the Dolls is about the beautiful people, and particularly their downfall. Written in the mid 60s I can see it's direct influence on the American Literary Brat Pack of the 80s. It is in many ways quite a rock and roll novel set in what at that time was the celebrity lifestyle. The glamour and grace of Broadway!

I must confess though, I do think most of the review and possibly even the title are a little misleading. Do a little reading about it and you'll discover that "Dolls" does not refer to the 3 female protaganists (yes 3!) but the pills they are a-popping. I had been mislead into thinking that they would be high for most of the novel, but to a large extent it is only the latter half where the drugs really start to be used. These aren't the illegal drugs that we are familiar with, but over the counter perscription sleeping pills and the like. Still, with some of our celebs enter rehab for sleeping pill addiction it is still relavent.

One negative point about this book, it's a bit long. I did enjoy it greatly, and was surprised by how it mirrors our lives today, but it was way too long. It takes place over about 20 years, when in reality, it could have been snipped down to about 5. It also seems to accelerate towards the end, where chunks of a few years of our 3 protaganists' lives are missed out. We can only assume they are fallow years.

Good book, and not a 60s Stinker as my dad describe it, but not quite what I was expecting.


The Last of the Savages
The Last of the Savages
by Jay McInerney
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Jay McInerney's Great American Novel?, 2 Feb 2009
Last of the Savages isn't JM's usual novel. Most of his books are based in "glamourous" New York, a world of models, phoyographers, artists and authors. The characters in LotS do embody these lives a bit, but in a different setting, and also in a different time. LotS takes place over about 30 years and deals with the relation between two initially contrasting characters who meet at boarding school. For some reason they become best friends and spend the next 30 years being the only constants in their radically different lives.
The setting for this novel is largely around the American Deep South and stretches from the time when racism was still openly accepted to our more enlightened times. Clearly this is suppose to be the under riding element of the novel, but for me personally the most interesting aspect was the way the two main characters interact with each other.
As stated, this book is not JM's usual stuff. It took me quite a while to get into. At first I was dissappointed, later I grew to like it. Take it with a pinch of salt. There are elements of The Beautiful People, but only as an aside.
Good book or not? Well I think my mother would enjoy it more than I did.


Air for Sleeping Fish
Air for Sleeping Fish
by Gillian Ferguson
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Late Train, 12 Mar 2007
This review is from: Air for Sleeping Fish (Paperback)
Stuck in Newport waiting for a train, I headed to the Bookends bargain bookshop and found Air For Sleeping Fish. I was originally after some budget poetry, but was intrigued by what I read, and well, Fergusons' picture on the back. This book is very fantasiful, the content, and the style of her poetry are very beautiful. The style flows perfectly pulling your along into her little world. An inspiration to my own poetry.

So, if it had not been for a late train, I would not have discovered this really good little book.


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