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Profile for Lynne Barrett-lee > Reviews

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Content by Lynne Barrett-lee
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Reviews Written by
Lynne Barrett-lee (Cardiff, Wales)
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World War I: A concise military history
World War I: A concise military history
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Informative, 14 Jun. 2016
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I've always been a fan of the literature of the first world war, from Birdsong to The Ghost Road to The Flowers of The Field. But I've always shied away from the hefty tomes of military history which have no doubt informed so many moving dramas. So this guide has been invaluable. Short enough not to intimidate, but detailed enough to hold my interest, it has guided me through the 'war to end all wars' and left me much better informed by the end. A chilling insight into a period of slaughter unparalled in human history, and with a final death toll that needs reading twice. Should be a staple of any library.


Venice: A Literary Companion
Venice: A Literary Companion
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for all the senses - the perfect walking guide to Venice, 4 Jun. 2016
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I love Venice and I love literature, so this book was a natural fit for me, and it didn't disappoint. Written as a series of walks around all the sestieres, it delivers the history of this beautiful and idiosyncratic little city through the eyes and ears of novelists, essayists and poets who've trod the same ground before, and have the tools to bring it alive on the page. If you like to really get under the skin of a city -particularly one so well suited to getting lost in - this charming guide would be a brilliant one to pack. Definitely makes me want to go back again!


A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Have tissues to hand..., 6 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: A Man Called Ove (Kindle Edition)
What a beautiful novel. Fredrik Backman has managed that all too rare feat: made me laugh, made me cry, and made me do a little mental fist pump of empathy and recognition, often all while reading a single page. Stunning.


A Practical Guide To Private Music Teaching: Is Teaching Right for You / Setting Up / Dealing with Issues
A Practical Guide To Private Music Teaching: Is Teaching Right for You / Setting Up / Dealing with Issues
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars it strikes me as a very useful guide to have at one's side, 4 Feb. 2016
As a part time teacher myself (in my case, in novel writing) this certainly resonates me. And for someone wanting to take the plunge and teach music privately, it strikes me as a very useful guide to have at one's side. Well written, succinct and informative, it also has the benefit (which sometimes these kind of guides don't) of being written by someone who really knows the business, having run her own successful music teaching practice for many years. 99p well spent, I'd say!


Station Eleven
Station Eleven
Price: £4.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 14 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Station Eleven (Kindle Edition)
I love a good post-apocalyptic novel; they have a way of staying with you long after you've turned the final page, Luke Reinhardt's unforgettable Long Voyage Back being an example. And this is a GREAT post-apocalyptic novel - visually rich, haunting, brilliantly plotted, and full of the sort of warmth and empathy that restores your faith in humankind. A beautiful novel.


Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess: The Lives of Guy Burgess
Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess: The Lives of Guy Burgess
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful biography of one of those most infamous double-agents the world has ever seen., 24 Oct. 2015
This book is an amazing insight into not just the world of spies and double agents of the 1930s and 40s, but also tells the stories of these rich, privileged, public school educated geniuses. The story, from Burgess's early childhood though to his death at a relatively young ages, moves along at pace and is never, for a single moment, dull. Burgess emerges as a larger than life character, alcoholic, often ruthless, and hedonistic to the extreme, but also strangely sentimental. He actually seems to have believed that, in working for Moscow, he was saving the British way of life from the threat of Fascism. His last years, spent in his Moscow exile, show him as a rather sad, lonely man. Andrew Lownie brilliantly describes this tragic life. Always objective, he is never judgemental. Anyone wishing to understand how these brilliant young Cambridge men came to be so notorious should read this wonderfully executed biography. Peter Barrett-Lee.


Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall  1783 - 1787 (Poldark Book 1)
Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 1783 - 1787 (Poldark Book 1)
Price: £3.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 13 May 2015
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Loved the TV series; loved the book even more. Full of fascinating detail, stunning descriptions and a wealth of social history, plus dialogue that shimmers and sparkles every bit as much as the wild Cornish sea. Looking forward to reading number two...


No Further Action - The True Story of the Craziest Year of My Life
No Further Action - The True Story of the Craziest Year of My Life
Price: £4.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Further Action - not till I finished reading this book, anyway..., 10 Feb. 2015
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Loved this! Came to it after seeing JD on CBB this time last year, having my feelings about him as a good guy restored. I loved him when young - we're of an age and both from SE London - but over the years, like many others, I found he'd fallen off my radar, except when popping up, via an unsympathetic press, and often coming across less than well. There's no doubt that on CBB, with that negative media prism gone, he showed us that, actually, he's a pretty decent bloke, which made me even more keen to hear what he had to say personally about the events of 2013. And I genuinely struggled to put it down. Yes, at the outset, the writer in me wanted to tippex out all his exclamation marks, but once I was able to ignore them, it was a lively, brutally honest and completely engrossing read - quite an achievement when we already knew the outcome. I also felt humbled by the extent of his charitable work, which is considerable, and have a LOT of time for his wife, who seems lovely. What a delightful surprise of a book. Booking for his next panto forthwith :)


Half Plus Seven
Half Plus Seven
Price: £4.07

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, satirical, sassy and stunning, 10 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Half Plus Seven (Kindle Edition)
Reviewing the work of former students is never easy. There's just too much angst, for all the usual tutor-y reasons. To be brutally honest? To tend towards the gushy? To just slither quietly away and hope they don't ask you why you DIDNT SAY ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT THAT WRITING THING THEY DID? Thank goodness I don't have to worry about that in this case. Because Half Plus Seven is good. Very good. I always thought it would be. Dan would read bits in class and you could just tell. He's a very funny writer with a sharp eye for observation and Bill McDare is a glorious creation. But it's more than an edgy, romp-y, sassy, satirical offering. It's a book with a heart, about a man without a plan; a man whose coming of age has been just a little too long in coming... I try to avoid the term 'laugh out loud funny', but, just for once, I'll make an exception.


The Concealment Of Truth: A DI Woodward Novel
The Concealment Of Truth: A DI Woodward Novel

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive debut into a life of crime..., 10 Feb. 2015
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Okay, so I have to declare an interest. Shawn Cullen is one of my former creative writing students, so you could probably argue that I'll lack objectivity. Not so. Having heard extracts of The Concealment of Truth during the course Shawn attended, my principal reaction, as it sometimes (but not always) is, was, 'this is good stuff. This is a cut above. This reads really well. So the question is, can he pull off the trick many can't? To maintain this quality of writing over the span of a whole novel?' Many can't. Just a few can. So, well, phew.

I must declare another caveat. This is not really my genre. There will be other readers who are more qualified to judge this than me. But I loved it. And I also know enough to tell you that it's a taut and gripping read. One with likeable, credible characters, and a plot that tugs you forwards. The sort of book my husband - a crime aficionado - would romp through in a very pleasurable afternoon. And will, just as soon has he wrestles my kindle away from me. Oh, and did I mention the ending? Don't worry. I won't. Except to say I hope to see more of DI Woodward...


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