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Reviews Written by (Milton Keynes, Bucks)

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On Green Dolphin Street
On Green Dolphin Street
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Nov 2001
I had great expectations of this book after reading his french trilogy. The characters are well developed and Faulks also manages to evoke the feeling that you are there. The problem is that the story seems to be missing. By the time I got to the end I wondered what the point of the book was.

by Nicola Griffith
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting SF, 15 July 2001
This review is from: Ammonite (Mass Market Paperback)
This was quite an interesting book set on an alien world. In many ways it is a standard mystery thriller. Can Marghe solve the mystery and find a cure to the virus that may imprison her on the planet for the rest of her life.

Getaway with Murder
Getaway with Murder
by Leo McNeir
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, enjoyable page turner., 15 July 2001
This review is from: Getaway with Murder (Paperback)
A good story about Marnie, a talented interior designer who decides to leave a well paid secure job in London to start her own company. She buys a disused farm in a small village just north of Milton Keynes on the Grand Union Canal, with the intention of converting it to an office and cottages. As the premises are ruins she has to live on 'Sally Ann', her sisters boat.
The village has a long history and many of the families have ancestors that lived in the village during the Civil War. When a murder is committed it looks like hatred from 350 years ago has resurfaced to claim another victim.
There seem to be quite a few people with various motives and opportunities to have committed murder but why would any of them want to go to such extreme lengths.
I was not expecting much from this book as it is from a small publisher that I hadn't heard of and suspected that it may have been self published as it wasn't good enough for a main stream publisher. I was wrong, it is well written, enjoyable and I will not hesitate to read other books by Leo McNeir.

The Anatomist
The Anatomist
by Federico Andahazi
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking., 10 Jun 2001
This review is from: The Anatomist (Paperback)
This is the story of Mateo Columbo, an Italian anatomist who lived in the mid 16th century. The renaissance may have been a time of discovery but it was also a dangerous time to live. New discoveries may have been welcomed resulting in fame and fortune. However, if the church didn't approve then the odds of being a guest of honour at the stake were pretty good.
During the renaissance women were certainly not equal to men and discoveries relating the female sexuality were not welcome.
Mateo Columbo is asking for trouble but is determined to find a way of making one of the most expensive whores in the world love him. Surely there must be a potion that will cause a woman to fall in love.
An interesting book that kept me turning the pages to find out whether his discoveries would be published and accepted. I also had to find out the fate of Mateo Columbo, his enemies and admirers.

What Girls Learn (A Virago V)
What Girls Learn (A Virago V)
by Karin Cook
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book probably written from experience, 10 Jun 2001
Tilden and Elizabeth are sisters who have spent their lives moving from place to place. Never staying put long enough to make lasting friendships or to be able to call it home. However, this results in a very close relationship between themselves and their mother. Despite the closeness of the sisters they are like chalk and cheese and therefore have the arguments and fights that all siblings have.
'What Girls Learn' tells the story from Tilden's viewpoint as a 12 year old girl who has to face the pains of growing up, puberty, moving home and getting a new father. The final straw is trying to cope with learning that her mother has a terminal illness.
It feels as if the story has been written from experience. Although I was never a young girl I have had to come to terms with the death of my mother after a long illness. It is hard to work out at which stage you know deep down that the fight for life has been lost as admitting it makes you feel as if you are inviting death. At this time families need to pull together but you resent each other because of inconsequential things.
Do you ever really get over the loss? I don't know.
This book explores all these feelings which made it quite painful to read, but I had to keep turning the pages. I really felt for Tilden and Elizabeth and understood a lot of what they were feeling.

Shadow of Memories
Shadow of Memories
Offered by multimedia-online
Price: 27.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 May 2001
This review is from: Shadow of Memories (Video Game)
This is a very atmospheric adventure with a great story line. The graphics are good as is the sound.
With 6 possible endings it is possible to play it agin to try for a different end, but this isn't enough to make up for it being too short.
This is a great adventure game for beginners or anybody who appreciates a good storyline and lots of atmosphere. It is a rare game in that it makes you feel for some of the characters. You will end up liking and caring for some and disliking others.
This would have been a 5 star game if it hadn't been so short.

The Vintner's Luck
The Vintner's Luck
by Elizabeth Knox
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected., 13 April 2001
This review is from: The Vintner's Luck (Paperback)
A pleasant book that was not what I was expecting. It starts in a vineyard just after midsummer 1808. Sobran Jodeau meets an angel and his life is changed from thereon.
We follow his life through its ups and downs, wars, marriage, affairs and the fermenting of wine. As wines have good and bad vintages so do the years of Sobran's life.
As well as following Sobran's life we also get an alternate view of angels, God and Satan. We all know that God created the world and is good. Man is made in God's image, angels have wings and live in heavan with God. Satan is evil and resides in hell. However, just like life it is possible that things are not as simple as that. We are made to address the possibility that all angels may not be good and God and Satan may not be quite as we imagine, then again....
This is a book that will make you think.

Stones from the River
Stones from the River
by Ursula Hegi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 26 Mar 2001
This review is from: Stones from the River (Paperback)
An exceptional work that deserves all 5 of the stars I have awarded it.
The story of a dwarf living in Germany in the lead up to and during WW2. It does not sound like an enjoyable book and I would not have read it had it not been for a reading group I belong to. However, I am glad that I made the effort as it is one of the most rewarding books I have read in a long time.
I found it fascinating to read a story about Germany before and during WW2 told from a German perspective. It is interesting how somebody who would be a great risk from her own compatriots can still love the Fatherland yet know that much of what is going on is evil. More to the point she fears the Allies even more than the Nazis.
When Germany is invaded (liberated?) the fear of the ordinary citizen of the Allied soldiers is an eye opener.
If you have read any other novel set in WW2 or seen a war film you owe it to yourself to read Stones From The River to gain a fuller feeling for the period from the other side.
It is said that history is written by the winners so it is great to see it written by the losers and try to understand what it was like for them.

The Thirty-nine Steps
The Thirty-nine Steps
by John Buchan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.14

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, short and rather dated., 26 Mar 2001
This review is from: The Thirty-nine Steps (Paperback)
Believe it or not I have not seen the film so I was able to read the book without any idea of the story. I can see that it was an ideal book to turn into a film.
It feels dated not because of the period but the style of writing and outlook of the characters. If the book had been written now the same story would have a different feel. It is almost like watching an old film, you can tell it is old by the colours and style.
The cover of the book also gives it an old feeling because of its simplicity.
Despite all of the above it is an enjoyable read and the plot twists enough times to keep you guessing as to the motivation of some characters. It is hard to accept how trusting most of the characters are in the book, but that is probably a reflection of life in the early part of the 20th century.
I also enjoyed the way that you get a feeling for the attitude of the country and certainty of a major war errupting in Europe. Modern books don't protray that feeling becuase we know they are written with the benefit of hindsight. This was first published in 1915 and probably written befor WW1 broke out.
It is short and cheap so there is no excuse not to try it.

Misty Eyed Adventures
Misty Eyed Adventures

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brighter than Clannad, 15 Mar 2001
This review is from: Misty Eyed Adventures (Audio CD)
I really enjoy this CD and keep returning to it. She may be 'The Voice of Clannad' but this isn't a Clannad CD. It is brighter and more pop oriented but very good.
Maires version of Big Yellow Taxi is the best I have heard, better than the original in my opinion.

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