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Adi Shtamberger "AdiTurbo" (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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Briefs Encountered
Briefs Encountered
by Julian Clary
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and Uninteresting, 14 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Briefs Encountered (Paperback)
Gave up on it after about 25% into the book. The characters are uninteresting - they all seem like some sort of cardboard image of what people think these people are or were like. I thought Clary's writing himself as a character wasn't at all funny, and ruined the whole "suspension of disbelief" thing for me. Nothing much happens, and the descriptions of the house and its defects begin to tire after a while. Also, *spoiler alert*, it was pretty obvious that ghosts are going to come into the story at some point. I'm very disappointed, as I loved Clary's first novel, which was truly brilliant. I hope he goes back to form in his next one.


The Sacrificial Man
The Sacrificial Man
by Ruth Dugdall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Maskerades as a good psychological thriller, but isn't!!, 25 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Sacrificial Man (Paperback)
This book is very suspensful - I finished it even though it was painful to read, and did want to know what the end is goind to be. Even so, I must say that as a reader who likes psychological thrillers and is not at all squimish, this book was quite sick, even for me. It is all about sick - sick relationships, sick thinking, seriously digusting acts, sick decisions. The writer has some compassion towards the main character, Alice, but none for any of the others, which is very disturbing sometimes, since some of them do deserve it. Some of the characters' motivations aren't clear or explained, and the character of the policewoman, Cate Austin, isn't fully developed, although she appears in other books by Dugdall. There were also some pretty unbelievable and even ridiculous scenes. For example, Austin couldn't understand the meaning of the broken yellow vase? Really? I'm sure any reader had spotted it a mile away.
After finishing this book, I feel quite repelled and grossed out, and am not sure I would ever be able to bring myself to read any of Dugdall's other books.


Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel
Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel
by Adam Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, non-disappoining Sci-Fi - Fantastic!, 10 Sept. 2010
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It's been about twenty years since I last picked up a sci-fi book. How lucky I was that when I finally decided to do that again, it happened to be Adam Robert's book "Yellow, Blue, Tibia". The name might not sound coherent, but is actually an English rendering of three Russian words I have no intention of revealing to you now - there will be no spoilers here.

The book starts in the days of Stalin's rule in Russia, and moves on step by step to the Glasnost days of the late 80s. It is the first-hand account of a Russian science fiction novelist, who tells an incredible story.

The story opens with him being ordered into Stalin's offices, along with other sci-fi writers. They are asked to invent a story for him. For what purpose, I cannot tell you for fear of spoiling your pleasure. Of course, things take a wrong, or shall I say, strange, turn, and the poor novelist's life start falling apart.

The book reads like a thriller - you keep turning the pages to try and find out what is really going on. Every time you think you've got it, Roberts makes a u-turn and brings you right back to the beginning. You simply can't figure it out, and so go through the same discovery journey the main character goes through. You keep fearing Roberts himself is about to lose the plot, but that never happens - he knows exactly where he's going. It's you who doesn't know. Right to the ending, Roberts never slips into unreasonability or unplausable explanations. What a ride!

The writing is so fabulous, that Kim Stanley Robinson has said this should have won the Booker prize. I cannot help but agree. The protagonist is fantastically done, with his "ironist" (read the book to understand) sense of humor and defiance of all attempts to control his freedom of thought. The other characters are not less successfully crafted.

I wish this book would've gotten more hype when it first came out, so more people could've enjoyed it. It's just too wonderful to miss.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting better all the time..., 13 Aug. 2003
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Rowling has done the impossible - improved an already almost perfect work, and gone deeper into the issues explored in the previous books.
I enjoyed the new plot developements, the more complete formation of the characters and the new understandings that came with them.
The book is a joy to read, as always - suspensful and humourous, while Rowling makes the effort to provide more complicated facets of the characters and plot-twists.
Thank you, Ma'am, may we have another?


Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
by William Styron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An honest account - could go further..., 13 Aug. 2003
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Styron is not comfortable with exposing himself in this book - it is clear from the tone of the writing, and he even implies it by admitting he only decided to write it as a result of some lecture given on the topic of Depression, which brought on a mass of empathic and identifying letters.
Personally, I would've liked to know a bit more about the actual feelings and thoughts of a depressed man, rather than about his actions or life events as a result of depression. For that reason I much prefer 'Sunbathing in the Rain' by Gwyneth Lewis, which is a more internal look into the depressive experience.
Even so, this book might be helpful for people who are related to depressed people, because it might help them understand how it turns a person into a dysfunctional mush of raw nerves.
I suppose people must have been so excited about the book when it first came out, because it was written by such a well-known and respected novelist, and brought on wide recognition of a terrible desease, from which millions of people had to suffer secretly and shamefully in the past. I'm sure it helped many people decide to put everything on the table and get helped, and that in itself is a great achievement.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2010 11:30 PM BST


Survivor
Survivor
by Chuck Palahniuk
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Horrible - A Must Read!, 13 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Survivor (Paperback)
Fabulous, to-the-bone, accurate writing, as well as good suspense-building and character-forming, make this novel a great read, and I would even go as far as saying - a must read.
This is an important book. The theme of an innocent meeting society's confusing and rotten morality has been explored before, but the conclusions Palahniuk arrives at are surprising and disturbingly new.

The book contains some unforgettable scenes. I can't remember when was the last time a scene stayed with me for months after the reading, as the 'Lobster' scene from this book did, or the porn-pile site scene (can't elaborate so as not to spoil them for you - read the book and find out!).

Palahniuk is a major bright, not-so-new anymore talent, that I imagine would have even better to offer in the future.
I certainly intend to go on following his leads.


Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Original, 12 Aug. 2003
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As a Harry Potter grown-up reader, I've grown used to criticism in the lines of the recent Byatt review. But I do think that there is a lot of comfort and interest in reading children's books in adulthood. It was lovely reading Artemis Fowl. The ingenuity of the literal and technological inventions of the writer was refreshing. The main characters enjoyable and believeable, though a bit Hollywood-streotyped. Self-humour and well-built suspense add to the fun. It was nice to see a children's author choosing characters that are different shades of grey, as in real life, and not all black and white. All in all, for a bit of good, soul-cleansing escapism, a very recommended read!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2016 10:32 AM GMT


The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
by Peter Ackroyd
Edition: Paperback

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining for Wilde fans, 21 May 2003
Ackroyd succeeds beautifully in capturing the 'Wilde' spirit, and imitates Wilde's special, one-liner way of expression with panache. He provides possible explanations for Wilde's choices in life. Even if not always accurate, they do create a fully blown, life-like character, without going into too much psychologisms. An enjoyable, page-turning read, with tragic undertones - leaves a mellow sadness without sliding to melodrama, and satisfies the fans' constant need to know more about the idolated, often misunderstood, misquoted and simply missed, artist.


Scepticism Inc.
Scepticism Inc.
by Bo Fowler
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, funny, important!, 21 May 2003
This review is from: Scepticism Inc. (Paperback)
I completely disagree with the reviews comparing this writer to Vonnegut - this is in a whole new and exciting league. Fowler should be judged by his own merit. The writer and the writing are intelligent, yet not pompous, quick and original. The book reads like a thriller, but contains tidbits of philosophical ideas, served fresh and easy to digest. I thought it was going to be just a quick summery read - NOT! It was one of the fullest and most fun reading experiences I've had this year. Good going Fowler,I'm running to the shops to get your next one...


New Boy
New Boy
by William Sutcliffe
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read! One of the funniest books I've ever read!, 8 Oct. 2000
This review is from: New Boy (Paperback)
Sutcliffe is one of the most original, fresh and interesting of the 'new' young British authors.His writing is natural, flowing and honest. His characters are totally believeable and easy-to-identify-with. I've read his 'Are You Experienced?' and LOVED it, and was not disasppointed by his first piece of fiction, as often happens to me with other writers. Wonderful, enjoyable read, DO NOT MISS!


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