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Freelancer Frank (Dublin)

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Leaving the Atocha Station
Leaving the Atocha Station
Price: £5.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spanish Harbour, 20 Jan 2014
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This is a book about being young. The narrator, who is not endearing, displays all the self-absorption, lack of concern and misapprehension that one remembers from ones own youth. Layered over this is a glimpsed appreciation of art, a yearning for greater immersion in the world and a constant worry about authenticity. The book has some originality and is a reasonably absorbing read.


This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works
This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works
by John Brockman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quarks and All, 6 Jan 2014
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This is a book about the state of science today. As is the nature of these things, some of the theories are more deep, more elegant and more beautiful than others. The stand out entries, however, really do jolt the system with wonder and the book as a whole is like a shot in the arm of reason and objectivity. It is a workout for the intelligence and a primer for current thinking. It's also fun showing people the cover.


McSweeney's Issue 44 (Timothy McSweeney's)
McSweeney's Issue 44 (Timothy McSweeney's)
by Dave Eggers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Warm leatherette, 27 Dec 2013
This is a book about making a mark. All six main stories here are very strong and insightful. Rebecca Curtis has a stand out piece about the question of how much to give and take. Joe Meno's piece is somewhat heavy on the symbolism but enjoyable enough. Pieces by Jim Shepard and Wells Tower both threaten to be overwhelmed by their authors differing stylistic quirks but equally prove themselves worth reading in the end. Two short pieces by Stuart Dybek and Tom Barbash both pack a punch.


Bronze
Bronze
by David Ekserdjian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £34.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure alloyed pleasure, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Bronze (Hardcover)
This is a book about the startling possibilities in global and historical bronze sculpture. It is a catalog to an exhibition that gathered together the world's bronzes into possibly the greatest single collection ever seen. Consequently, there is much to surprise and delight here. The works are well lit and photographed and the commentaries are insightful and illuminating. The catalog is well thought through and there are no 'over the fold' images. The book is itself a thing of beauty that lives and breathes like the bronzes it depicts.


The Yellow Birds
The Yellow Birds
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Road to nowhere, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Yellow Birds (Kindle Edition)
This is a book about growing up. It features the following hallmarks of adolescence: 1. The point of view is entirely subjective to the point of solipsism. 2. Every sentence and event appears to be forced with loaded 'significance' that rings false. 3. The occasional stabs at mundane and inexperienced insight. These things might be excused as aspects of character except that they belong to the narrative. The characters are featureless.

The various paean's to a lost friend 'Murph' felt cliched and there was no real motive given to the reader as to why Murph's loss should have as much relevance as it does to the narrator. The use of fractured narrative to demonstrate a fractured state of mind also felt tired and worn.

There is little or no insight here into the war in the Middle East, soldiering, technique etc...


Life After Life
Life After Life
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Lives During Wartime, 14 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Life After Life (Kindle Edition)
This is a great book about repeated opportunity. It runs with an original concept - the idea of what it would be like to continually have the opportunity to re-shape events in the world. The apparent conclusions are surprising and oddly comforting. There is a good deal of fun in spotting the overlaps, changes and premonitions of the repeated life and in gradually working out and identifying with the predicament of the central character. The writing is crisp and the characters are all well drawn. There is no lapse into sentiment or the obvious and there is a sense of keen intelligence to the work.


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Price: £5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Paragraph Road, 2 Dec 2013
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This is a book about persistence. Murakami describes himself as marked by dedication in the pursuit of self-chosen goals such as writing and running. In addition to the obvious journey metaphor that applies to both activities, he brings out other aspects, such as the notion that the interest in fitness is a counterweight to the traditional Japanese view of writing as an unhealthy pursuit. Murakami is adept at descriptions and local color. The details of each race, however, do become a little repetitive, particularly towards the end of the book, where he keeps losing.


Boston Terrier Pet Sign
Boston Terrier Pet Sign
Offered by Stc Stores
Price: £2.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Boston Best, 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Boston Terrier Pet Sign
It's a good size and reasonably durable. Good value for money. Great gift for anyone with a Boston. Was professionally delivered and arrived in good time.


A Possible Life
A Possible Life
Price: £4.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Five Measly Pieces, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: A Possible Life (Kindle Edition)
This is a book about confinement. The central characters in each of its five stories are all confined in some way. The stories deal with how they cope with their release. There are some interesting moments but overall the writing is flat, dull and unsurprising. It was difficult at times to keep focus and especially difficult to finish. Nothing comes to life here. Really, quite dull.


Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Sunny side up, 22 Nov 2013
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This is a book about comic resolution. Faulks captures the Wooster voice and Jeeves's mannerisms very well. He also extends these with a literary patina that draws on Shakespeare and the Romantics. The story is nicely structured and entertaining. The ending, while not a surprise, is satisfying. For me, from time to time, it was easy to forget that this was not Wodehouse.


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