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The Miniaturist
The Miniaturist
by Jessie Burton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.49

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Double Dutch!, 6 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Miniaturist (Hardcover)
Reads like the musings of a teenage feminist with a primer in post-modern lit and a weekend in Amsterdam under her belt. Seventeenth-century Amsterdam it ain't (sic).


American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars American Colonoscopy, 5 Jun 2014
This review is from: American Pastoral (Paperback)
I read the first half of this book over several hours in a hospital ward while awaiting a colonoscopy. After my op, I skimmed through the second half in 20 minutes. Even though I was given the all clear, life really is too short. Roth at his worst: verbose, turgid, artless. American Dull.


Breakfast with Lucian
Breakfast with Lucian
by Geordie Greig
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vile man, worthless and amoral book, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Breakfast with Lucian (Hardcover)
Daily Mail hack Geordie Grieg was clearly in thrall to Lucian Freud and his aristocratic coterie, yet the painter still emerges from these pages as a truly vile man with no moral compass. God knows how Freud will fare at the hands of a less sycophantic biographer?! There is very little about painting in what is a barely disguised vanity piece by the former Tatler editor (I knew Lady La Di Da who frolicked with Lucian at a royal ball where the wicked fellow was insanely rude to the Duke whose son I went to Eton with blah blah blah, ad infinitum), but we do learn that Freud was a serial predator of dysfunctional teenage girls, even as an old man. He was also prone to violence, not least towards his partners. He fathered scores of children by scores of posh wives, including three by different mothers in the same year. Unless he suddenly decided he wanted to paint one of his litter - invariably naked, even while they were still children - they were ignored and/or discarded on a whim. By comparison Woody Allen and Roman Polanski are saints. On the front cover another faux grandee, Tom Wolfe, describes Freud's life as 'messy'; true if understating the case. Much worse, he also describes Freud, a man who makes every last one of his subjects look like a bloated navvy (just look at the feet in his pictures!)as the "greatest British painter of the past one hundred years". That, I am afraid, would be Francis Bacon, a true genius, unlike his former acolyte, who was little more than a society painter with an edge.


Red or Dead
Red or Dead
by David Peace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.36

188 of 229 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book. A book about David. A book about David Peace., 12 Aug 2013
This review is from: Red or Dead (Hardcover)
This is not a book about Bill Shankly, the football manager, at home, at Anfield. At home or at Anfield. Bill the manager, the football manager. Of Liverpool. Of Liverpool at Anfield. Managed at Anfield, by Bill. Bill Shankly, the football manager. The football manager of Liverpool,at Anfield. This is a book about a man who writes. A writer who is a man. A man who writes books. A man who writes books with words. A man who writes books with words and sentences. A man who is a writer who writes books with words. A man who is a writer who is a man who is a writer who writes books with words and sentences. A man who is a writer who is a man who is a writer who writes books with words and sentences and then writes the same words and the same sentences. The same words and sentences in the same book by a man who is a writer who writes books. With the same words. With the same words and the same sentences. Over and over again. Over and over and over again. Over and over and over and over again. The man writes the book with the same words and sentences. The man who is a writer. And then he washes the dishes. The dishes, in his house. In his house, at home.
Comment Comments (32) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2014 3:10 PM BST


The Little Stranger
The Little Stranger
by Sarah Waters
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars longwinded or long-winded?, 15 July 2013
This review is from: The Little Stranger (Paperback)
Is longwinded one word or, two (the compound, long-winded)? Ask Sarah Waters and she would definitely say two, at least on the evidence of the frustratingly repetitive The Little Stranger. Everything that happens in this book happens at least twice, often three times. First, it happens; then one of the characters tells the narrator, Doctor Faraday, what happened, or what they think has happened; then Doctor Faraday tells the reader or one of the other characters, what he has been told had happened, and also speculates about what might have really happened (real, unreal, supernatural, blah, blah, blah) ad infinitum. Which might have been palatable if what had happened in the first place (nothing very much) had been remotely interesting. Does Virago not employ editors?


The Seamstress
The Seamstress
by Maria Duenas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 2 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Seamstress (Paperback)
An object lesson in how to take a fascinating period and setting and ruin it with uninteresting, stock characters and the flimsiest plot. Long-winded and dull prose complete the unpalatable cocktail. I persevered to page 200 then skipped through the rest. If you want to read a proper writer dealing with the same period try Almudena Grandes, Ines y la Alegria, a moving and profound take on a woman's experience during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. Please note I am reviewing the original Spanish version.


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