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Fairy Godmother (jerusalem, israel)

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Toploader
Toploader
by Ed O'Loughlin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toploader, top book, top author, 23 April 2011
This review is from: Toploader (Paperback)
Armies don't lend themselves to satire. Their business is killing, something that requires a very special author to find and work a seam of humour. Graham Greene did it with Our Man In Havana. Joseph Heller did it with Catch-22. And now Ed O'Loughlin, a relatively new author who is blazing quite a trail for himself having caught the eye of the Booker Prize judges for his first novel, has produced something that is quite simply pitch-perfect.
Set in a ghetto of `terrorists' (think Warsaw 1939 only with Predator drones flying overhead capable of reading the DNA of every single inhabitant in the enclave) we are introduced to their `enemy', a well-supplied, hugely-resourced army that bosses them brutally from beyond the perimeter wall. The `army' has no end of tricks to justify its bullying. When it kills children it cooks up stories about the children blowing themselves up accidentally while building `terrorist bombs'. When it hears that its mortal enemy might have infiltrated the enclave there is no limit to the army's retribution. And when a piece of hi-tech gadgetry (a computer chip) is lost inside the `terror zone' the gloves come off to get it back.
We meet soldiers who are incompent, officers who are lazy, terrorists who are more terrified than terrifying, spies who are spineless and commanders who have no moral compass. O'Loughlin creates a setting that is futuristic but in our modern world of Green Zones in Baghdad and Fire Support Bases in Afghanistan his writing soars with plausibility.
Delicate humour and acute observation tease out the terrible truth that we can all sometimes display such venality and cruelty. This book is acid, thought-provoking and chillingly funny. Greene and Heller have a worthy heir.


Development Poverty and Politics: Putting Communities in the Driver's Seat (Routledge Studies in Development and Society)
Development Poverty and Politics: Putting Communities in the Driver's Seat (Routledge Studies in Development and Society)
by Richard Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £90.00

5.0 out of 5 stars How slums can become suburbs, 18 Jan. 2011
Development economics can rarely have been rendered more readable, comprehensible and illuminating than in this valuable book. Both authors combine significant academic weight with a large dose of commonsense humanity to produce a book that offers hope where so many outsiders see nothing but gloom. The `townships' and `informal settlements' that blight the developing world today are anything but new; the slums of Victorian London had exactly the same characteristics. This book charts the means by which the same transformation that took place in the capital of the United Kingdom can also be made to happen in Africa, south Asia and elsewhere.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Hats, 1 Sept. 2008
these are great. Lightweight, washable, easy to put (and keep) on, and offer ample protection from the sun. Recommend stone colour for extremely sunny climates!


The Return
The Return
by Victoria Hislop
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary, 1 Sept. 2008
This review is from: The Return (Hardcover)
I loved the Island with no expectation that I would. It occurs to me that with The Return her publishers asked for the 'same again, different location...and in double quick time' to cash in on the success of The Island. The Return felt very forced, as though the writer's heart just wasn't in the characters or the plot. It was frankly all too far fetched and rather dreary. Hislop is a terrific writer and I look forward to her next book.


Dogger (Red Fox picture books)
Dogger (Red Fox picture books)
by Shirley Hughes
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 9 July 2008
My nearly three year old boy insists on 'the Dogger book' every single night. And it is one of the few on his shelf that I dont mind reading again and again. Its a lovely story with a generous dose of drama and suspense - and a morality tale thrown in for good measure. The pictures are fantastic - lots of new little details to find with every read.

Highly recommended...


The Island
The Island
by Victoria Hislop
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Read, for a holiday or not, 9 July 2008
This review is from: The Island (Paperback)
I loved this book: I found it beautifully, sensitively written, and obviously thoroughly well-researched. Highly recommended. A fantastic achievement for a first novel. The Island far exceeded my expectations. Looking forward to reading her new book.


Tintin in the Congo (The Adventures of Tintin)
Tintin in the Congo (The Adventures of Tintin)
by Hergé
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lesson from History, 13 July 2007
This is classic Tintin - strong artwork, derring-do by the cub reporter and dastardly plotting by evil gangsters - but its significance is in what it teaches us about historical context. When Herge produced this work in the 1930s there was nothing controversial about his portrayal of native Africans. Today that same portrayal can be judged as nothing but racist.
To understand the historical background of the Congo and Belgium's brutal colonial project there, read the new book `Blood River - A Journey To Africa's Broken Heart' by Tim Butcher. It will explain perfectly how an artist as sophisticated as Herge could fall into the trap of using such crude and patronising imagery.


Kings of Peace, Pawns of War: The untold story of peace-making
Kings of Peace, Pawns of War: The untold story of peace-making
by Kofi Annan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THINKING PERSONS HOLIDAY READ, 16 July 2006
Not the easiest subject to write about... but Harriet Martin has managed to weave complex history, politics with amusing observations and refreshingly nimble and unpompous analysis. Relevant, Timely and Highly Readable.


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