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Michael Lewis (New York, NY)

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Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless rubbish, 8 Sep 2010
This review is from: Wolf Hall (Hardcover)
I read all 650 pages of this book so as to be able to make a fair judgement. All this dialogue is supposedly between real people who lived in Tudor England. Not one word was ever uttered by those people. To those who say it showed them what Tudor England was like, try reading some history. It told us nothing about the characters. It is only Hilary Mantel's imaginary musings. The book is utterly pointless and totally unconvincing. I will run a million miles before wasting any more of my life reading any equally pointless sequel.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2010 12:42 PM GMT


Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values
Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values
by A. C. Grayling
Edition: Paperback

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 Sep 2009
I came to this book with great sympathy already convinced that we have given up many civil liberties without a fight. I agree with most of the arguments put forward by Grayling. Our civil liberties have been hard won, are precious and need protecting. I did not find these arguments well presented in this book; it lacks cogency. It is also repetitive. Grayling also has the irritating habit of dropping in new lines of argument or new topics at the end of chapters. This is very sloppy. Some of these are never developed - like global warming - and therefore their relevance is questionable. Others he clearly knows nothing about - like energy markets. I have heard Grayling say that philosophy is an excuse to delve into any interesting topic. Well maybe but why should we take notice of him if he knows nothing about a subject. All together a disappointing book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2013 10:08 PM BST


Divisadero
Divisadero
by Michael Ondaatje
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.55

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Divided we fail, 4 Nov 2008
This review is from: Divisadero (Paperback)
This is one of the worst books I have read in many a long year. It is not a novel at all but a collection of four or five short stories thinly connected by spurious and superficial links. There is no structure to the book whatsoever. It rambles from period to period without explanation. The characters have no substance. we know no more about them at the end of the book than at the beginning. The farm scene was interesting; so was the gambling but so what - it took us nowhere. Almost half of the book was about a late 19th early 20th century writer but why? Nothing is explained except the loose connection between him and a researcher. But how did Anne become a literary researcher? She ran away from home at sixteen with no money or graduation qualifications. How did she get into University at all, let alone becoming a researcher - no explanation is given. For that matter why did Lucien become a writer? No clue is provided in this short and underwritten book. Words are strung together interminably, many of them highly pretentious. I can only presume that this was written as a contractual obligation. It has no literary merit. For a writer with serious pretensions it is a disgrace


Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories
Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories
by Rebecca Barry
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boozers and Barflies, 18 May 2007
This is a beautifully written first work of fiction by a journalist of some experience. I bought it because of a rave review in the New York Times and although this turned out to be a publication for which Rebecca Barry has written, the review is well deserved. Set around the regulars in a bar in upstate New York, this small work is wonderfully crafted. It is funny and at times poignant. The characters are losers in the main but Ms Barry, unusually, shows a real liking for her losers and reports them softly and kindly for the most part. It is the contradictions in the people she describes that is so well and entertainingly executed. Losers they may be but she endows them, at times, with clarity of thought and directness of feeling which keeps you turning the pages. Later, at the Bar is an impressive debut that delivers great entertainment.


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