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Clive Pacey (london)
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Passage To Juneau: A Sea and Its Meaning
Passage To Juneau: A Sea and Its Meaning
by Jonathan Raban
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 April 2001
So much more than a pure travel book, this is also a moving personal account of a difficult time for the author (which completely avoids any self indulgence ) as well as being brim full of superbly written asides on a number of historical, political, envorimental as well as numerous other issues relevant to this facsinating part of the world. Jonathan Raban could not write badly if he tried and with the gift of the really fine ciommunicator even managed to interest me in anthrpology...and that takes some doing This is the best book I have read by one of the finest writers around. Entrhalling, challenging and unputdownable I hate gushing about books, but it is hard to do otherwise!


King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
by David Remnick
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 21 Mar 2001
I did not believe that Thomas hauser's famous effort could have been beaten, but by concentrating on a relatively brief period this wonderful biography captures both the remarkable spirit and personality of this great fighter as well as capturing the essence of the early sixties which were such a pivotal period Superbly written, intelligent and unputdownable


London Fields
London Fields
by Martin Amis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 21 Mar 2001
This review is from: London Fields (Paperback)
Martin Amis can be a fine writer, but he does tend to over indulge and the result is novels that meander and after a promising start, become quite boring. Also, the characters in this are preety implausible. Very disappointing


Obsessed: The Autobiography
Obsessed: The Autobiography
by Richard Dunwoody
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, 12 Mar 2001
This is an honest and slightly disturbing account of a horribly driven personality. For those who long admired the seemingly elegant and effortless skills of this fine jockey, the extraordinary self doubt and almost dismal single mindedness comes as a bit of a shock. And that is before we get to his appalling behaviour during his marriage, with one scene being particularly shocking. Its not all grim though. The great horses he has ridden are brought back to life and there are more than a few decent anecdotes and fine portraits of various racing personailites. A barve book and a excellent read.


Corsairville: The Lost Domain of the Flying Boat
Corsairville: The Lost Domain of the Flying Boat
by Graham Coster
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 Mar 2001
It is a little hard to explain why this relatively short book about a subject as interesting as the strange and romantic flying boats has been so easy to put down. There are a good number of interesting facts and the author has travelled widely to research his subject, but the wistful style and romantic nostalgia laced with often fairly boring anecdotes certainly starts to grate after a while. This is not a book for those seeking a good hard robust history of this unusual but ground (or should I say sea?)breaking form of transport. It is rather more a dreamy bedtime read which is not all bad, but certainly not gripping.


Australia: A Biography of a Nation
Australia: A Biography of a Nation
by Phillip Knightley
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 12 Dec 2000
Philip Knightley has managed to produce a highly informative and readable history of this young and in many ways strange country. He concentrates mainly on the social history of this often suprisingly divided country and is particularly strong on the role of Australia in the two great wars. For much of the book, the picture presented is of a starkly unsettled and somewhat insecure nation and this is especially apparent in the mostly desperately poor handling of the aboriginal "issue", which he deals with at some length. Whilst this is crucial to the understanding of Australia, there are some elements of recent history which are not tackled to the degree expected. Bob Hawke's leadership takes up about half a page and apart from murdoch, there is virtually nothing on the handful of barons who were seemingly dominating the country for some time. Little in the way of the volatile and to many surely disappointing, recent economic history and performance. Also, after a fairly even handed and seemingly dispassionate assesment of the development of the nation, the final chapter is a rather sudden barrage of starry eyed, slightly nationlistic sermonising. For instance, we are regularly told that Australia is the worlds only successful multicultural society and whilst Pualine Hanson's racist parties recent rise and fall is documented, its ultimate failure is given precendence over the questions regarding the suprising level of support that it garnered. This should have been set against the fact that in the UK, by implicatio a multicultural failure, no such party has ever come near to the same level of support or probably ever will. Australians do have a reputation for being highly patriotic and in many ways, Phlip Knightly has unwittingly illustrated the insecurities being such feelings. But all in all this is a often fascinating and rewarding history, which should be read by anyone with the vaguest interest in the subject


England England
England England
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice cover, 5 Dec 2000
This review is from: England England (Paperback)
"a reader from scotland" sums this tiresome book up well, and I have just given up after 50 pages. This is seemingly attempting to be a clever clever satire and the writing and dialogue is actually very irritating. It is getting frustrating wasting time trawling through novels like this and overhyped rubbish from other "modern UK literary figures" (Tony Parsons, Martin Amis etc etc), which have lovely blurbs from their mates on the back covers. I think ill just stick to american novels from now on


The Miracle Of Castel Di Sangro
The Miracle Of Castel Di Sangro
by Joe McGinniss
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.91

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 21 Nov 2000
This is an interesting, eventful and often bizarre story which could perhaps have been told in a more gripping manner The problem is that the author is a little too prominent in the unfolding events.For example the excellent Manslaughter United is in many ways a similar book, but is a more satisfying read because the author lets the events and the characters explain themsleves Joe McGuinesse's enthusiasm for the game is clear but (and this is not just because he is American), his understanding less so. This is bourne out by his slightly irritating habit of justifying his opinions through marginal newspaper statistical ratings.I need not say more... But overall all this shouldnt detract from a decent if slightly overlong read.


Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour
Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour
by Andrew Rawnsley
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Nov 2000
This really is an excellent summary of Labour's first three years in power. In turn both informative, revealing, gossipy and very entertaining. The spin (that dreaded word) around this book might have given the indication that this was little more than a dissection of the difficulties and conflicts within the goverment's hierachy and to be fair, a serialisation in the Daily Mail, would certainly have reinforced that assumption. Dont let that put you off....there is alot more to this book than that. In many ways Tony Blair comes out with more credit than may be assumed as does Gordon Brown and John Prescott (but not Derry Irvine). The extreme pressures of top level goverment are vividly portrayed and the tensions tantrums and blunders as well as the real achievements are related in teh form of an exceptionall witty thriller (if that makes sense) Read it


One World Divisible: A Global History Since 1945 (Allen Lane History)
One World Divisible: A Global History Since 1945 (Allen Lane History)
by David Reynolds
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Oct 2000
To cover the history of the world over the past 55 years and put all the countless events and developments into context is to put it mildly a hugely ambitious task. This work succeeds brilliantly. It may seem to many readers of history that such a book could only hope to be broadbrush. But somehow this is not true. Apart from being an extertaining and often witty read, the wealth of detail is marshalled in a such a superb manner that this almost reads like an unputdownable thriller. The proper global perspective is reached by the degree of concentration on the less developed world. The numerous pieces on China and latin america are fine examples. Even if you think that you are pretty well read on modern history, this book contains enough revelations and wonderfully succint analysis to entertain and inform. I know that this is a gushing review, but I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


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