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Reviews Written by
Louise Amkaer (Greenland)
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Angel [DVD]
Angel [DVD]
Dvd ~ Romola Garai
Price: 5.21

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love it - I hate it! The story of a Victorian Barbie girl, 27 July 2010
This review is from: Angel [DVD] (DVD)
I hate it. I love it. I can't make up my mind about "Angel" - the movie of the passionate, naive, obnoxious, ambitious egoiste Angel, who lives with her mother above a grocery and writes romantic novels. She has always dreamed of living at Paradise house and after she is published to buys the house - and everything that goes with an eccentric life style.

Towards the end of the movie, Angel's loyal companion speaks of writing a biography about Angel and muses as to write about Angel in reality or in her fantasy world. A whirlwind world of big emotions, passion, lushious everything.

In truth, Angel is a character that the viewer loves and hates. I admire her persistense even when she is ruthless. The story in itself is banal as has a certain Barbara Cartland flair, but that is the life Angel plunges into willingly. The movie itself uses superficial effects as a movie playing behind the characters to allude Greece and Egypt, but I find the entire picture complete. Today, we would call Angel a Barbie girl, but in the Victorian era she is Angel with over-the-top hand gestures and a naivety that makes me smile.

Louise


The Hungry Ghosts
The Hungry Ghosts
by Anne Berry
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.39

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Without substance and a little annoying, 19 July 2010
This review is from: The Hungry Ghosts (Paperback)
Alice is the odd man out of the expat family, living in Hong Kong in the 60s and 70s and she has a tag-along ghost, who died in Hong Kong many years before. In "The Hungry Ghosts" we hear of Alice and the ghost from the point of view of Alices's parents, her siblings, the ghost and what not, but we never really get to know Alice personally. She stays a shallow cardboard figure throughout the novel.

The followship of the ghost - and later additional ghosts - doesn't really seems to be more than a peculiar gimmick that became more and more grotesque during the novel.

The main feature of "The Hungry Ghosts" is the picture of the expat family in Hong Kong - and if they are the hungry ghosts I understand. The family is stuck in non-communication with eachother, socializing with a facade, drinking behind the scenes, and absence due to the job or boarding school back in England.

"The Hungry Ghosts" wasn't a homerun for me.

Louise.


The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History
The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History
by Philip Bobbitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long venture - with excursions, 16 July 2010
Recommended highly by a law school professor, I ventured into Bobbitt's universe of strategic history/constitutional law. It was a long venture - six months, before I finished the book - it is compact, and at times not in meaning but solely in high-strung language.

At other times, Bobbitt leaps from his focus (Book I: States of war/Book II: States of peace) to long intermezzoes about who befriended who at a certain point in time, without really showing the relevance of the excursion.

I agree with other reviewers that Bobbitt definitely has a very American (at times American-arrogant) perspective, however despite these shortcomings, I found the historical review in book I on the epochal wars to be a new perspective and his prognosis for the developement of market-states interesting.

"The Shield of Achilles" is for the critical minds with an interest in history, strategy, and/or law.

Louise.


NCIS - Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season 6 [DVD]
NCIS - Naval Criminal Investigative Service - Season 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mark Harmon
Price: 12.25

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standing applause necessary: GREAT GREAT SEASON!!, 27 May 2010
The 1st episode leaves you hugging the cushions for support as the team of Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, and McGee is broken up, but fret not - the hunt for a mole in NCIS brings them back together again.

It is amazing how this great series just gets better and better - and how the stories are persistently excellent. We know the characters as well as the characters know eachother, and there are still surprises - many in fact.

---- SPOILER ALERT ----

This is the season where Director Vance is introduced, where NCIS' friendly relationship with MOSSAD goes sour, where Gibbs and Tony go to Arizona, (cue horses), where Abby is hijacked by the FBI, where Ducky is accused of war crimes, where Gibbs and McGee go to L.A. (tie in NCIS LA), where Gibbs finishes the boat in his basement (sic!!) and Tony and Ziva go head to head.

I can't wait for the next season. :-)

Louise.


Mudbound
Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Mudbound" is a neatly packed package of excellence, 27 May 2010
This review is from: Mudbound (Paperback)
"Mudbound" is one of those stories where you find yourself recommending to friends and family, saying "READ IT! READ IT!" "What is it about?" they ask, and you are dumbfounded. How do you begin to pull apart this neatly packed package that is so complete that the seams are invisible?

The story is one of a post-WW2 marriage, family, murder, a Mississippi farm, black share-croppers on the farm, and the relationship between white owners and black share-croppers. It is about love, adultry, motherhood, brotherhood, coming back from WW2 and turning your life around. It is about expectations and realism and so much more. Saying where the story begins, gives no clue to it's path and destination.

"Mudbound" is a novel that deserves to be read in a bookclub or English class and debated, discussed, and taken in over time.

The author's choice of narrators and narrative line also carry the novel, which is divided into short chapters seen the points of views of 5 (I think) different characters, each with something to say and much that they are not saying.

READ IT! READ IT!
Louise.


Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Original, dark and twisted thriller that sucks you in., 27 May 2010
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
On the cover, "Let the right one in" was described as a coming-of-age story with vampires, but I would say that "Let the right one in" is a dark and twisted coming-of-age story and a suspenseful thriller, that happens to have a vampire angle that is genuinely new and different.

Oskar is a preteen, who gets beaten up by bullies at school and fantasizes about stabbing someone, practicing one an old tree in a retched part of Stockholm anno 1981. He collects newspaper clippings about serial murders and follows the ones happening nearby.

"Let the right one in" is told in 3rd person omniscent, so the reader follows the murderer on his unwilling killing spree, the child Eli who is at the center of everything, a group of drunks at a local bar, who becomes victims - all in a great meandering downward spiral leading to darkness. And it is truly original!

No just another vampire story here, no crime novel/thriller with a tell-tale balance of cliff-hangers and action. "Let the right one in" is darker, more twisted, bloodier, and more moody. Oh yes, and it's definitely Scandinavian!

"Let the right one in" sucks you in, but don't expect a happy ending here.

Excellent reading!
Louise.


Dogs: 101 Adorable Breeds
Dogs: 101 Adorable Breeds
by Rachael Hale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.77

2.0 out of 5 stars Haven't I seen this photos before? Oh yes!, 27 May 2010
Yes! Another book of Rachael Hale's wonderful dog photos, and this is a book full of beautiful pictures, but note that most of the photos were featured in "Snog" and "101 Salivations".

Louise.


Making A Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq
Making A Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq
by James Ashcroft
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and explosive - and well-rounded, 27 May 2010
I have no connection to any military, I have no knowledge about guns or survival in a hostile urban environment, and I haven't been to Iraq, but James Ashcroft's "Making a killing" jumps from the pages as authentic and explosive in both the story and the storytelling.

How much of it is actually real and happened the way, Ash says, I cannot know, but the effect is great.

"Making a killing" is about Ash, who is former British military, who takes a job with a private security company in Iraq. "Making a killing" shows both way in the world Ash would put himself harm's way and what life was like in Iraq just after the tumble of the great Saddam statue et al.

Excellent points for "Making a killing"
- not just packed action, but also about the everyday life and reflections about Iraq and the effort there. Not a Rambo-story, but also about the chaos and ignorance about what is actually happening.
- the slang and military talk which is an integral part doesn't make the book unreadable for an outsider.
- the respect for Iraq and the Iraqi people and culture that shines through.

"Making a killing" may not be long or shortlisted for any literary awards, but it is definitely an explosive read.

Louise.


Garden Spells
Garden Spells
by Sarah Addison Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blooming magical story with excellent flavour, 18 April 2010
This review is from: Garden Spells (Paperback)
"Garden Spells" definitely builds on the wonderful legacy of Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic", but it has it's own flavour.

Claire lived in the Waverly house, taking care of the blooming garden and her catering business, when a man moves in next door - and he takes interest in her; and Claire's estranged sister, Sidney and her daughter Bay show up on Claire's doorstep. What follows is a tale of accepting the past, one's self, and the opportunities that arise when we least expect them.

Magic plays a role in the story in a subtle, realistic way. Sometimes it is just the gossip and superstition of a small town i.e. that family is strange, the men of that family die/marry young. It is the always blooming garden and the strange apple tree. It is knowledge of herbology and cooking. It is the belief that things happen that we cannot explain, but that the universe around us has its ideas.

This is a magical story, excellent for both a holiday by the pool or a day on the couch when it's raining.

Louise.

P.S. My "only" 3 stars is due to the close resemblance to "Practical Magic".


The Shadow Of The Wind
The Shadow Of The Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Transcendant story revolved around books, 18 April 2010
This review is from: The Shadow Of The Wind (Paperback)
"The Shadow of the Wind" transcends genres. True - it is a mystery, a family saga, a romance, a social realistic novel, a comedy, and a historical novel.

Daniel visits the Library of Forgotten Books with his father and picks out a book to keep. He chooses "The Shadow of the Wind" by Julian Carax. Taken by the book, Daniel wants to learn more of Julian Carax and become - to a degree - obsessed by this author, whose books are burned and the author himself, who seems to have disappeared from society, despite his magnificant novels. Daniel's story fans out in Barcelona to cover his father's secondhand bookshop, a deserted mansion, the crooks and crannies of Barcelona, not to mention a long line of interesting characters that all mould Daniel into a man.

I loved the ways a book and books in general play such an important role in the novel, and I loved the lyrical tone of the book (even if it is more pronounced in the first half). "The Shadow of the Wind" is one of those rare books that deserve to be read aloud.

Barcelona is a character in the novel. I have never been, but the atmosphere of Barcelona is very vivid - although darker than I imagine Barcelona to be.

I would recommend "The Shadow of the Wind" to those who love old libraries and recognize that obsession with book that Daniel has.

Louise.


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