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ZPQA "JJ Innes" (London)

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Cat out of Hell
Cat out of Hell
Price: £4.31

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, funny, and finely plotted., 28 Feb 2014
This review is from: Cat out of Hell (Kindle Edition)
This is very different to what you might expect from the author of Eats, Shoots. While it has the light and humorous touch that all her writing has, she has managed to embrace her darker side. It is really tightly plotted with great characterisation (one of whom only gets two lines - or does he?). Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2014 11:32 PM GMT


The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn
The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn
by Richard Mabey
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I only wish there was more., 14 Jun 2012
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A terrific little gem of a book. Mabey is a Renaissance man, skilfully negotiating poetry, anthropology, biology, ecology. He's adept, too, at drawing these infinite threads together in ways that will make you see the world anew next time you step out the door. The book was part of Radio Three's 'Essay' series, so is brief and tightly focused. It provides a great example of his work, and is a good place to start if you haven't read him before.


The Invention of Murder
The Invention of Murder
by Judith Flanders
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, diverting, but not memorable., 14 Jun 2012
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This is a richly enjoyable compendium of Victorian murder. She is particularly good at drawing together real murder cases and tracing their after lives on the stage or in fiction (especially Dickens and Collins). It's finely illustrated and well presented. Where it falls short is that this is not really history, in so far as there isn't really an argument (as the subtitle suggests). The various accounts, while fascinating in themselves, don't add up to 'a book' in the same way that her previous work has (especially The Victorian House and Circle of Sisters). Well researched and diverting though not perhaps as memorable as her other work.


The Stranger's Child
The Stranger's Child
by Alan Hollinghurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.86

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A novel frustrated by its author's potential for better work., 14 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Stranger's Child (Paperback)
This is a frustrating novel. In every paragraph it demonstrates its potential. The cadence of each sentence is beautifully measured and judged. But the effect is a little like looking at a finely carved chess set. Lovingly created pieces move around the board, but they never really brush against one another. It is like the characters are missing a chromosome that gives them a little life; they are like the people that one only meets in books. Even the theme is retreaded from Forster, Somerset Maugham, Waugh and Byatt's Possession and The Biographer's Tale. The novel as a genre should always already feel new, this is one that looks backward in so many ways.


Get Her Off the Pitch!: How Sport Took Over My Life
Get Her Off the Pitch!: How Sport Took Over My Life
by Lynne Truss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.22

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inimitable Truss charm, 5 Oct 2009
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Great stuff, as always. Charm, jokes, football, airships, and terminal velocity chocolate cake, what more can you ask from a book?


Felix Holt: The Radical (Penguin Classics)
Felix Holt: The Radical (Penguin Classics)
by George Eliot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

3 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for the most committed Eliot fans, 6 July 2009
Eliot tries her best to engage with the political ferment surronding the Reform Acts of the 1830s, but such themes prove to be beyond her, just as they were in Middlemarch a few years later. At least in that novel there are greater themes of ethical responsibility, sympathy, the problems of having to make choices that affect the whole of your life etc., in Felix Holt there are no such themes. Except for the 'political' narrative, there is a rather stupid inheritance plot that is just dull. Small in scope and unoriginal in structure, the novel starts with a couple that despise one another and end up getting married.
This is a rather stupid book.


The Spoils of Poynton (Oxford World's Classics)
The Spoils of Poynton (Oxford World's Classics)
by Henry James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 6 July 2009
A bloke inherits a load of stuff from his dad; his mum thinks it belongs to her; they talk about it a lot till the house accidentally burns down. Sounds awful, but it's great stuff...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2009 10:15 AM BST


Blaming (Virago Modern Classics)
Blaming (Virago Modern Classics)
by Elizabeth Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner by one of Britain's most underrated novelists, 6 July 2009
Written with Taylor's typical and occasionally devastating brevity, this is not to be missed. Nobody can interrogate the nuances of motive and behaviour like she can. Very highly recommended.


My Name is Red
My Name is Red
by Orhan Pamuk
Edition: Paperback

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a bold novel, 6 July 2009
This review is from: My Name is Red (Paperback)
I'm utterly appalled by the rampantly half-witted loons that have reviewed this book. "Artificial frame". It's a book between two covers, how's that for an "artificial frame"? "Kinda interesting although i really didn't understand so put it down"! What's not to understand? It's a murder mystery. You have to work out who killed the guy on page one - you read five hundred pages, then you find out. Have you never seen 'Murder, She Wrote'? It's not complicated.

This is a fascinating novel. It uses an innovative framework to ask questions about cultural hybridity, religious intolerance (and its political uses), the clash between the old and the new, the east and the west. In short, this is a novel about Turkey, sitting there on the cusp between religious, geographical and political boundaries that threaten its sense of national identity. Oh, and it's quite well written, too.


Landing Light
Landing Light
by Don Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection, 6 July 2009
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This review is from: Landing Light (Paperback)
This is a great collection. It's tear-jerkingly moving and laugh-out-loud funny (no, really, I laughed out loud!) He obviously has a commitment to using ostensibly clear language in shockingly creative and productive ways. Even thinking about the title (not named after a poem) is an experience in itself; what does it mean? Landing lightly after a fall; being guided in to land safely; the light that guides you through to the dark upstairs... Indicative of collection's approach as a whole, it's playful without being pretentious, but is memorable because it is so truthful in its emotion. The two 'twin poems' "Waking with Russell' and 'The Thread' are direct, formally inventive, and intrusively private. 'The Wreck' is one of the most searingly honest poems I've read about a relationship built on the sand of passion and drunkenness, and very little else. I can't recommend this collection enough. He's the real thing: a true poet.


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