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Liz "e_bruton"

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On Another Level
On Another Level
by Louise Rought
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.84

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this book but couldn't...., 12 Aug 2011
This review is from: On Another Level (Paperback)
I had really good expectations for this book - unlike a fair bit of LGBT fiction, it was of a decent length and had an interesting rather than trashy cover. Alas, at least for me, these were the high points of the book. I very rarely feel the need to post reviews on Amazon but the sheer unreadability of this book has prompted me to do so.

This book is, unfortunately, one of the worst books I have read in a long time. I've got to page 74 and have finally given up. I did really want to like this book - the author seems lovely and I have a genuine respect for writers and the bravery it takes to put their work out there. Additionally the book does have some kind of potential, although I would struggle to quantify what that was exactly. On some level, I feel disappointed the author didn't continue to redraft and utilise the skills of a decent editor in order to produce a book that realised its full potential. My criticisms are thus: the writing is clunky and lacks pace; the character development is almost non-existent; the love scenes are cringe-worthy; the dialogue does not flow at all....I could go on.

In conclusion: this book has potential but, unfortunately, doesn't come anywhere close to realising this - avoid!
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2011 3:55 PM BST

The Devil's Banker
The Devil's Banker
by Christopher Reich
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Your average thriller, full of cliches, 10 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Devil's Banker (Paperback)
I read The Devil's Banker in about a day, that says a lot about it. It is your average run-of-the-mill thriller that totters along at a pretty rapid pace, bypassing subtlety and depth, and heading straight towards overblown drama. None of the characters are believable, particularily Sarah Churchill, and the baddies are cliched Arab terrorists. Throw in a few predictable red herrings and you've got "The Devil's Banker". The plotline is a much repeated 'post Sept 11th terrorist attack somewhere in the US - who will stop it?' type with nothing new, original or different added. On the plus side, it is quite well-written, albeit with cliches galore. Furthermore, the plot does run at a pretty rapid pace, so all is not lost.
So basically, this is not a boring book, but don't expect any originality either.

No Second Chance
No Second Chance
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Paperback

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written & interesting thriller with plenty of twists, 17 Feb 2004
This review is from: No Second Chance (Paperback)
No Second Chance tells the thrilling story of Dr Marc Seidman, who wakes up in hospital to discover his wife was brutally murdered and his daughter has been missing for the past 10 days. He responds to a ransom note but is caught out when he gets the police involved, and is told there is no second chance. But nearly two years later, he is given a second opportunity to put right what he messed up the first time
This book is interesting, well-written and very dynamic; the characters are developed and interesting. This book is action-packed and fast-paced but sometimes reads like a movie yet to be made, full of dramatic fast editing.
All in all, a great thriller to sit down for a few days with

Girl Meets Ape
Girl Meets Ape
by Chrissie Manby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.55

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly interesting & well-researched chick lit, 6 Feb 2004
This review is from: Girl Meets Ape (Paperback)
I have to admit that I do not normally read chick lit, but Girl Meets Ape is different. Firstly, it has depth of character and a well-developed, albeit predictable, plot. While it is no Jane Austen, this book has a certain charm and humour that other books in the chick lit genre lack.
Girl Meets Ape tells the simple, yet charming, story of Dr Jennifer Niederhauser; an intelligent yet emotionally cold expert on ape behaviour. After completing her PhD, she goes to work for Prowdes Animal Sanctuary - a run-down and disorganised ape sanctuary run by it's eccentric owner and her motley crew of helpers. What the place lacks in efficiency, it more than makes up for in it's family atmosphere. At first, Jennifer does not enjoy working there due to her high-handed dealings with the staff, especially her deputy Guy Gibson (who she met earlier as the stripping ape at her best friend's hen party!). Needless to say, just as she is settling in, and developing her relationship with Guy, trouble appears on the horizon. In order to maintain the sanctuary, it is agreed to film an animal documentary that will be presented by Jennifer's cheating one-true-love Dr Timothy Lauder. Who will she choose??
Girl Meets Ape is a light-hearted look at the work in animal sanctuaries and is well-researched, with interesting, well-developed characters. While a tad short, this is an interesting read where the central character's occupation is more than just convenient backstory. An enjoyable and relaxing read!

Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
by Lynne Truss
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes interesting points but couldn't read in one sitting, 1 Feb 2004
I got Eats, Shoots & Leaves for two reasons; because of the joke on the back, and because my grammar is awful. However, while my grammar and use of commas etc has improved, I feel that the sense of humour that was alluded to in the title and the related joke is missing.
While the topic of this book is interesting, and the personalilty of the author does come across very well in the book, the actual writing itself can be very dry and this is not a book you could read all in one sitting.
Definitely one of those pseudo self-improvement books (although perhaps a little funnier than those) - a book you should read, but don't.

The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Hardcover

272 of 287 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in ages, 29 Jan 2004
At first glance, this book might seem like a gimmick book - the idea of a man who time travels to various parts of his own, his wife's, and other's lifetimes seems like a plot gimmick that won't hold up beyond the first chapter, but it's not! In fact, the whole time-travelling thing is just a vehicle for one of the most moving, tragic love stories I have read in quite a while.
The Time Traveler's Wife tells the intruiging story of Clare and Henry, who meet when Claire is 6 and Henry is 36 but marry when Claire is 20 and Henry 28. It describes in dramatic detail, their unusual meeting, and their lives together and not. Their story is full of up and downs - Clare can never be sure when Henry will disappear next, where to, or when he will come back. This adds a certain fleetingness and intensity to their relationship, particularily the earlier parts. As the book continues, it adds more flesh and detail to the two central characters; their friends, family, and relationships before and after they met each other. This ensures that the characters are well developed and described - not just reflections of each other.
This book is beautifully written, poignant and incredibly moving - I would recommend it highly.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2011 12:21 PM BST

Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials)
Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials)
by Philip Pullman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but VERY short, 5 Nov 2003
I read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy back to back and enjoyed them immensely. I could not say the same for "Lyra's Oxford". Firstly, there is absolutely no point reading this book if you have not read "His Dark Materials" - it will make very little sense. Secondly and relatedly, any decent short story (whether part of a series or not) should be instantly readable. "Lyra's Oxford" is not. It does not add any new facade about any characters and if it reveals any upcoming plotlines, we'll have to wait for "The Book of Dust" (His Dark Materials 4) to find out. Thirdly, the story is very short and while well-written, not satisfactory at all.
On a more positive note, the illustrations and extras are absolutely beautiful and probably one of the few decent things about this book.
Basically, this will make an excellent present for any younger His Dark Materials trilogy fans BUT it will be probably read and forgotten in under an hour!

Britain (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides)
Britain (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides)
by Ian Connellan
Edition: Paperback

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good reference guide but severly out of date, 17 Oct 2003
Cycling Britain is good only as a basic reference guide; its good at pointing you where to get useful & accurate information but does not contain this information within it's pages. It is useful as an overall view of cycling routes in Britain, for planning a holiday but has far too few decent details at the local or even regional level. Okay, those are the positive points - onto the negative.
Cycling Britains maps are absolutely useless, a complete waste of space. Their scale is so large that they only give a sparse outline at best. Often, they deviate from the National Cycle Network, and quite frequently contain misleading & useless information, where they contain information at all! Distances can be quite far out, and accomodation information is completely out of date.
In summary, if you must use this book, photocopy the parts you need in the local library as it is a waste of space on any cycling holiday. Buy at your peril.

Lord John and the Private Matter
Lord John and the Private Matter
by Diana Gabaldon
Edition: Hardcover

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back with perhaps her best book so far....., 9 Oct 2003
I just finished reading Lord John & the Private Matter and I would have to recommend everyone reading this review to beg, borrow or steal a copy NOW! While I felt that her previously published novel "The Fiery Cross" wasn't as good as the other books in the Outlander series, Lord John has in bundles what The Fiery Cross lacked - concise, interesting storyline and evolving characters.
Lord John & the Private Matter tells of Lord John Grey's exploits in London in 1757, shortly after leaving Jamie at Helwater (as told in Voyager). Lord John becomes involved in the investigation the murder of Sgt O'Connell, a soldier from his regiment who is suspected of treason (namely selling military information to the enemy) & wife-beating. At the same time, he is suspicious of the Hon Joseph Trevelyan, the fiance of his cousin Olivia, who appears to have syphillis. However, as Lord John gets further embroiled in his investigations (visiting varoius brothels along the way!), he discovers the two may actually be linked....but how?
Lord John Grey & the Private Matter is the best book I've read in quite some time - it is a real page-turner, with plenty of twist & turns and the characters & places are intriguing & well-developed. The story is by turns amusing and tragic with a bit of sauciness thrown in between. I would recommend this book with no hesitations whatso ever. Enjoy!

Philips AZT9500 Portable CD Player
Philips AZT9500 Portable CD Player

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all-round portable CD player, 29 April 2003
I would recommend this CD player with few reservations.
Pro: excellent digital FM/AM radio (picks up weak signals)
The Electronic skip protection works all the time (Tested it jogging, jumping & sprinting - never skipped a beat!)
Plays all types of CD-Rs & CD-RWs
Lasts 20 hours on Ni-MH rechargable batteries (included) & recharges in under 6 hours
Superior sound quality, includes digital bass boast
An additional extra is the Power Save mode (the opposite of electronic skip protection), batteries last up to 25 hours in this mode!
Quite nifty looking - not your average portable CD player
Con: The LCD isn't backlit
Doesn't have a remote on the earphones
Isn't as slimline as some other portable CD players
The earphones cable is quite short

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