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H. A. Sayala
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Rag-Oyle Town Family
Rag-Oyle Town Family
by Brian Hirst
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart warming family story....and it is real, 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: Rag-Oyle Town Family (Paperback)
This story spans several decades in the life of a working class family in a small town in west Yorkshire. The reader is taken through a remarkable journey of joy and sorrow, of growing up and coming of age, the passing away of some old traditions and the birth of new ones all seen through the eyes of the middle child of thirteen children, Mr Hirst himself.
It is an extraordinary achievement to convey the atmosphere within the small crowded house full of people and full of love and rivalry, the atmosphere in the small town, the ambitions and aspirations of the multitude of characters and the grief that life inevitably inflicts upon humans, all in less than 300 pages. All the characters in the book are woven into one larger than life character that is the Hirst family.
I admire not only the skill that went into writing this great book but also the bravery of the writer in undertaking this task and admitting that it is purely his memories that constitute this memoir with all the imperfections and flaws of human memory.
Besides, nothing beats the thrill of "discovering" a new author.


Random Acts Of Heroic Love
Random Acts Of Heroic Love
by Danny Scheinmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish this book on all my enemies, 13 Dec 2010
When you strip off all the sentimental language you are left with a plotless account of the personal tragedy of a middle class British PhD student losing his girlfriend in a bus crash and failing to come to terms with his loss. Tragic as this may be it is not enough material for a book. He needed a grief councilor and one was indeed thrown in but cast as a villain on the grounds of what sounds like a speech impediment.
The other story of the soldier is just about OK but again the link with the main narrative is very flimsy and the bringing together of the 2 stories is rather unconvincing.
To sum the book in 1 word, awful.


The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.34

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read if you have nothing else, 13 Jun 2008
A romance with a superimposed time travelling plot. Had to buy this book in a rush to keep me going on a transatlantic flight. Somehow entertaining but found it too long and the plot is overdone. Not too bad if you are desperate as it is better than not reading at all.


Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Paperback

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to go in any long or short list of master pieces, 13 Jun 2008
This review is from: Midnight's Children (Paperback)
What can I say about midnight's children that has not already been said. I would put it on par with one hundred years of solitude. You have to read it to know what I am talking about.


Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.80

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine literature at its best, 13 Jun 2008
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Reading one story after the other in this delightful book, wondering what comes next and finally getting to the end and seeing the subtle link between them all was like eating your way through a 10 course dinner at a top restaurant, feeling full yet wanting more. The different style stands out from the crowd and the book stays in your memory long after you have finished it. Well done Mr Mitchel


The Trouble with Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change
The Trouble with Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change
by Irshad Manjii
Edition: Paperback

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mirror mirror on the wall....., 2 Jun 2007
I congratulate Ms Manji on her bravery and her willingness to jeopardize her safety for the sake of expressing her views at a time when the order of the day among muslims is to silence any voice of dissent no matter how reasonable and peacuful that voice is.I agree with a lot of what Ms Manji says in her book about desert Islam and its rise in recent times. Her depiction of the ailments afflicting muslims today is quite accurate and rather disturbing and that probably explains the vitriolic response her book received from the majority of muslims. However, I think she got carried away in the chapter she wrote about the middle east conflict. While Arabs harbor a great deal of hostility towards Israel, I don't think Israel is as innocent and civilized as Ms Manji would lead us to believe in her book. Operation Ijtihad and solving the problems of the muslim world by turning muslim women into entrepreneurs sounds rather simplistic and naive.

Overall, the book is indeed a very good read. It forces those muslims who bothered to actually read it to look in the mirror and see the unflattering picture of their faith as it stands today. It is about time muslims dragged themselves into the 21st century and reconsidered their position on women, gays and lesbians, freedom of speech and freedom of faith among many other things. Good luck to Irshad in her quest to help achieve this.


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