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Reviews Written by
A. Laffeaty "annlaffeaty"

Page: 1
by Eric Treuille
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Best recipe book I've ever owned, 19 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Canapés (Hardcover)
My son bought me this book for my birthday because he knew about his Dad and my drinks-and-canapes habit on a Friday night (though to be fair, our canapes were usually shop-bought as I'd always found them too fiddly to make). But to appease our son, I thought I'd give some of these recipes a try - and have not looked back. The step-by-step instructions are failsafe and the unexpected combinations of flavours work surprisingly well. I've already tried about a dozen of the recipes, whereas in most other recipe books I've ever owned there have only been one or two stand-outs. The parmesan shortbreads are delicious, so are the fried vegetables in gram flour and the rosti. Most recipes tell you how far in advance you can make the canapes and whether or not they freeze, which is very helpful. Also, many of them use standard food cupboard ingredients which means that by buying only three or four extra items, you can still make five or six different canapes using stuff you probably already had in stock. I think it's a bit unfair of other reviewers to compare this book unfavourably with itself in a previous incarnation rather than with other books by different authors - Canapes definitely deserves its five stars.

This Is Where I Leave You
This Is Where I Leave You
by Jonathan Tropper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to his usual excellent standard, 2 Mar. 2012
I found this book a big disappointment after Jonathan Tropper's other excellent novels. This is Where I Leave You takes the same theme as the others (a man going through a crisis who uses changing external events to give his life new focus) but unfortunately this novel has none of the charm of the others. For one thing, I found some of the family members pretty one-dimensional (Wendy, the bossy sister; Paul, the angry brother; Phillip, the immature womaniser etc). In previous books these peripheral characters take on a life of their own and add greatly to the charm and humour of the story. For another, the sex theme is rather overplayed in this novel. The fact that so many of the characters cheat on their partners (Jen, Alice, Wendy, Phillip) is a bit depressing and surely not true to life? Particularly as this is all supposed to be in the course of a week. And these indiscretions add little to the plot - I mean, Alice practically rapes Judd to help her get pregnant, what's that all about if there are to be no repercussions (such as her husband finding out, or her actually becoming pregnant). The ending was inconclusive, too, not in an "anything-can-happen" way, but in an "I'm-bored-with-this-story-now-and-am-not-sure-how-to-finish-it" way. Let's hope Jonathan Tropper gets back on track for his next novel.

Silent Scream
Silent Scream
by Lynda La Plante
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flat characters, dreary plot, predictable villain, 27 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Silent Scream (Paperback)
Based on this book I can't understand why Lynda La Plante is a bestselling authoress. The characterisation is poor and the plot is sordid and depressing. The dialogue, too, is simply diabolical. For instance the driver, Lester James, speaks in erudite English one minute and in a kind of joke Cockney the next. There is little suspense in the build-up of finding out "who done it", and the reader is left waiting for a twist that never comes. And as for the relationship between the main character (Anna) and James Langton, there is no spark whatsoever. This is one book that is going straight to the charity shop.

Writing on the Wall,The (Gryphon Books)
Writing on the Wall,The (Gryphon Books)
by Lynne Reid Banks
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted novel, 19 July 2009
I found this old book among my late mother's effects and had never heard of the author, but decided to give it a go. The fact that the heroine was a rebellious, 16-year-old punk was potentially off-putting since I found it hard to identify with her, but the story soon gripped me and I found myself loving this quirky tale of a bunch of young school-leavers who embark on a trip to Holland with disasterous results. The romance was dealt with in a charming way and the characters were unusual, but all eminently believable. A really good book.

The Common Lawyer
The Common Lawyer
by Mark Gimenez
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing compared with his other books, 21 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Common Lawyer (Hardcover)
I loved Mark Gimenez's other books, but I felt this one was flawed and unconvincing for a number of reasons. Firstly, the main character - Andy -is a very un-lawyer-like lawyer with long hair, scruffy clothes and a pushbike. Presumably the author depicted him in this way in order to make the reader identify with him, but in fact Andy comes across as a bit of a loser.
Another issue I had was the fact that as soon as Andy has some money from his new rich client, girls who previously ignored him suddenly seem happy to sleep with him. Am I alone in thinking this is an over-simplistic view of life - and one that is pretty insulting to women?
When Andy is asked to track down his new client's ex-girlfriends and give them each a milion dollars, he is surprisingly unsuspicious. I also found it weird that these women all accept the cash without question.
Basically I thought the plot was implausible and the characters one-dimensional. Let's hope Gimenez's next book is back on track.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2011 7:05 PM BST

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