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Under the Same Stars
Under the Same Stars
by Tim Lott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Tim Lott, 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Under the Same Stars (Paperback)
Thank you Tim Lott. This is easily the best book I've read this year. I was holed up last week in a dismal room in Bangkok with never-ending rain. Actually the room was nice but the view was of an exercise room. Anyway - who wants to know that? But I so enjoyed your book. Interesting characters - well especially the two brothers - and a real taste of the southern US. It's one narrative and yet there are other mini-stories along the way. The end is amazing - a new take on the errant father and revelations about the polaroid that Salinger carries with him.
It's very different from Tim Lott's moving 'Scent of Dried Roses' which is autobiographical.
Tim, you're a great writer. You might like to know that I've put 'SDR' in the local library here in southern Thailand and I've left 'USS' in the hotel in Bangkok.
Probably no-one's going to rate this review as 'helpful' but hey, Tim I hope your publisher picks this up and sends it to you.
Again, thank you.


It's All News to Me
It's All News to Me
by Jeremy Vine
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Insights into the BBC., 27 Aug 2013
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This review is from: It's All News to Me (Paperback)
This book is full of amazing insights. OK I don't think Jeremy Vine is the best of writers - but he's not trying to emulate Charles Dickens, for example.
What he is, is a very experienced reporter, thoughtful person, mindful of what news is.
He's come through the ranks - provincial newspaper journalist - then reporting for the BBC from Westminster, then a stint in Africa, then back to the UK.
There are some super stories, some super anecdotes, some super quotes. Maybe you'd appreciate this book if you were older rather than younger. Don't know. Going to pass it on to my daughter and son and see what they think.
But...I actually had tears in my eyes on two occasions. Some very moving moments. The whole Paxo and JY Prog stuff is fascinating. Thank you JV.
Btw. I'm living in Asia at the moment and don't listen to his R2 show.


I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
by Sylvie Simmons
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.46

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars are you a fan?, 10 Jun 2013
If you're a Leonard Cohen fan then you have to buy this book.
If you've been to any Leonard Cohen concerts then you should buy this book.
If you're not a fan of Leonard Cohen then buy it for your mum or dad.


The Deadman's Pedal
The Deadman's Pedal
by Alan Warner
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit uneven, 30 May 2013
This review is from: The Deadman's Pedal (Paperback)
This is the first Alan Warner book I've read. The reviews for the hardback - which I bought - were promising. Admittedly there's some good dialogue - but in Scottish dialect so takes time/pages to get used to. We're introduced to various characters - the main one being Simon Crimmons and his relationship with his father is interesting but then peters out.
Some of the railway characters are also interesting but peripheral. I think if you're into railways and trains then you'll enjoy it - but I found some of the lengthy descriptions of freight train journeys in the night tedious.
If I was a publisher I'd say this shows future promise - but hey he's written a few novels before this so that's a bit condescending.


Charles Dickens: A Life
Charles Dickens: A Life
by Claire Tomalin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

5.0 out of 5 stars great expect, 30 Jan 2013
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Claire Tomalin probably doesn't need another 5 star review but hey. I used to read just fiction but now I'm mixing it with other stuff. Last non-fiction book I read was Into The Silence a fabulous account of attempts to conquer Everest. Just finished Timothy Mo's Pure - well gave up 25 pages from the end. Anyway Dickens. I like to think I'm a Dickens fan but have to admit have only read Great Expectations and Bleak House but have dipped into other books in my teaching and writing. After reading Claire's book I'm going to read more Dickens. She paints a great character - he supports his many children, supports widows and children of friends, opens a home for prostitutes in London. We learn about his acting and his live readings. And we get astute comments on all his books. This almost reads like one of his novels and I found the build up to his almost sudden death quite moving. Claire's research is outstanding so I'm not only going to read more Dickens but check out her other books too.


Pure
Pure
by Timothy Mo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Start good rest bad, 11 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Pure (Hardcover)
I taught Sour Sweet to A Level Eng Lit students in the UK and really enjoyed it. Not sure about the students!
Anyway now living in Bangkok I was intrigued about Pure's synopsis. The start is good. It details Snooky's life on the streets in Bangkok. He's a katoey (ladyboy) and lives a wild life with a bunch of similar types. As far as I know it feels pretty authentic - descriptions of late night street life in the Sukhumwit area of Bangkok. Certainly beats lazy Daily Telegraph travel guides to the Thailand.
But our hero/heroine gets busted and is forced to the south of Thailand to act as informer in a Jihadist training camp.
Mo has different narrators and a lot of the content - well for me at least - is difficult to follow. A particular problem is the narrator Victor - an old guy who tries to describe colonial history. Also the chapters narrated by the head of the training camp are tedious. Snooky's chapters I find the best-written - well the most interesting.
So my advice. If you're not in Thailand give this this a miss. And don't even think about teaching it as an Eng Lit text.
Finally. Apparently this is Mo's first novel for a decade. Hm.


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