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jackrock

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Price: £5.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenching beautiful, 13 Sep 2014
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One needs stomach for this book, parts of it are almost unbearable I had to put it down and breathe deeply for a while. Gorgeous writing . I had goose bumps from some of the prose. The story is laid out between the past and the present, which keeps the perspective. I won't go over the content, it's been discussed enough, but I too would nominate this as the Booker winner.


The Emperor Waltz
The Emperor Waltz
Price: £8.83

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 18 July 2014
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This review is from: The Emperor Waltz (Kindle Edition)
I am SO fed up with Philip Hensher. There is,a good and interesting story somewhere in this book but you have to trawl through so much gay propaganda, gay characters, gay habits, gay gay gay....why in this day and age is it necessary to bang this drum any more? And I hasten to say that I have many beloved gay friends, this is not a homophobic comment at all. I am a devoted fan of the Bauhaus. I understood the leitmotifs of the red hair, the choices in the wilderness spreading the word, the purple coats, the tea pot and so on, but this meandering book trying to tie these things into some sort of coherent novel is highly artificial and thoroughly tedious. I give it two stars because Hensher' s writing is often beautiful. But I won't read another book of his.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2014 5:54 PM BST


Upstairs at the Party
Upstairs at the Party
Price: £4.72

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 4 July 2014
I've always read Linda Grant' s books. Some have been better than others, but this one is terrific. I simply read and read until I came, reluctantly, to the end. A wonderful description of an era when so much changed and the twentieth century became momentous, with " youth at the prow and pleasure at the helm" in a dramatic shift. Beautifully written and a sign of incredible maturity in this writer's work. Read it.


The Burgess Boys
The Burgess Boys
Price: £5.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Stayed up late, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Burgess Boys (Kindle Edition)
A really gripping and totally believable story which so engaged me I,am writing this at half past one in the morning! Excellent. Simply excellent. Read it.


The Ghost of the Mary Celeste
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste
Price: £8.23

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 28 Mar 2014
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Valerie Martin writes so well it's no longer a surprise that I couldn't put this book down. I was blown away by Property, and have been,her ardent fan ever since. Just READ THIS BOOK. You will have your own ideas about the Mary Celeste,about ghosts,and spiritualism, this novel carefully avoids coming down on one side or the other, but it will intrigue you all the more for that.


The Shock of the Fall
The Shock of the Fall
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shattering, 15 Feb 2014
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A beautiful and tender book, wrestling with very hard truths. I congratulate the author on the superb way he depicts the inner turmoil of a little boy, who already has the seeds of mental fragility embedded. Schizophrenia is complex illness about which we still know very little. It often appears in particularly clever and sensitive children in their teens. Matt is such a child. The characterisation and the dialogue of the novel are beautifully pitched, it is totally believable, touching and splendid. Read it.


My Promised Land: the triumph and tragedy of Israel
My Promised Land: the triumph and tragedy of Israel
Price: £8.03

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Staggering, 13 Feb 2014
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This is a sobering and finally profoundly depressing book. For me, at any rate. As a child of refugees from the Nazi terror, who came to Israel believing in "old Zionism", I share Shavit's sense of bewildered disappointment. His constant echo of "where and why did we go wrong" resonates only too clearly. I only wish I could share his final summing up that somehow it will turn out all right. But I'm older than he is so perhaps I'm more cynical. This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn the many facets of a small country which occupies a disproportionate place in the politics of the world. I congratulate him.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 12:28 AM BST


And Sons
And Sons
Price: £3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply excellent, 4 Feb 2014
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This review is from: And Sons (Kindle Edition)
I.never understand the reviewers who feel.they have to reveal the entire story of the book. Spoils the whole experience. And I found this book a profound one. A tour de force, a story within a story within a story. The chief protagonist is a pretty sad, ineffectual character, and his voyeuristic, on the outside looking in, life is totally what he deserves. The relationship between the Dyers and the Toppings is wonderfully portrayed, the writing is scrumptious, and the philosophy of the book is subtly and charmingly conveyed without didactic overtones. Very, very good.


The Goldfinch
The Goldfinch
Price: £3.32

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whew!, 21 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Kindle Edition)
Heaven's what a roller coaster! I'm exhausted. This is a truly extraordinary book. The anti hero narrator is absolutely infuriating, a self absorbed, self destructive wimp, who, despite the really appalling tragedy which has befallen him, really makes a bad situation as bad as it can be. . He is constantly tongue tied when he should speak up, and his wallowing is finally tiresome . But nonetheless one has to follow the quite dazzling plot of this very long novel, it is compulsive beyond belief. The writing is superb, elegant, poetic and frequently moving. Worth every moment.


Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a romp!, 14 Jan 2014
This book is really not about anything at all, it's a kind of collection of snatches of verbal exchanges relayed word for word covering the years that Nina lived as both nanny and general factotum with an eccentric family and some eccentric neighbours in an arty corner of North London. Between the conversational snippets we get to know the family, the (often extremely famous) neighbours, Nina' s family and friends, her teachers, And her boyfriend . We watch her growing up And see the influence of the contact with the intelligentsia eventually has upon her. And all this is so subtly interwoven among the curious recipes, reports from Great Ormond Street, and snooker parlours in Plumstead that you don't realise that you're taking in a narrative. Shamelessly funny, original and a total delight.


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