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A Certain Age
A Certain Age
by Rebbecca Ray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising start that peters out, 6 July 2010
This review is from: A Certain Age (Paperback)
The first few pages of this were enthralling and I was eager to read on. However, it soon petered out into repetitive prose and slow-moving plot. Certain things were hinted at but never expanded on (the Dad's problems - what were they exactly?) and the whole thing seemed a bit farfetched. I'm sure there are parents who would allow their young daughter to date a much older man, but surely not a family like the one described in this book? All in all, not as good as you'd hope but not horrifically bad.


No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as The Road, 6 July 2010
This review is from: No Country for Old Men (Paperback)
I read The Road earlier this year, having had no prior exposure to Cormac McCarthy. I absolutely loved it and so this led me to delve further into the catalogue of this author. It is written in a very similar manner, using what is obviously a trademark style for McCarthy. He uses lots of short, sharp sentences and very little punctuation, but this doesn't take away from comprehension at all. However, I definitely preferred The Road - the plot, story and character development were all done better than they are in this. It starts quite slowly but does get much better, although the routine narratives of Sheriff Bell are pretty poor. All in all, I doubt I'll read another book by him after this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2011 6:56 PM BST


The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment, 6 July 2010
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I was terribly disappointed by this book. I was expecting to love it - lots of the books I've read and enjoyed link to this on Amazon (The perks of being a wallflower, When I was five I killed myself, Naïve super, The catcher in the rye etc - all of which are brilliant) and this doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as such greats. It's written in such a mundane, detached manner that you really don't care what's going on. The only blessing is it's a relatively short book and so didn't take up too much of my time.


Kill Your Friends
Kill Your Friends
by John Niven
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone but choose wisely and you'll enjoy, 6 July 2010
This review is from: Kill Your Friends (Paperback)
Firstly - this is not for the easily offended. That doesn't make it a bad book of course - it simply means it won't be for everyone, just as the works of Dickens, the Brontes and Austen aren't everyone's cup of tea either. But if you don't mind a bit of sex, drugs and rock `n' roll in your books, casually mixed in with some graphic violence then this just might be the book for you. It's certainly an enjoyable, easy read and the plot unfolds at a good pace. Niven has certainly created a good example of an immoral, evil character- one who successfully hides his dark side from most people around him and so could be someone you know? As long as you're not expecting the next literary great, then this will certainly help you pass your time in an enjoyable manner.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Penguin Modern Classics)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Ken Kesey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great but didn't quite meet my expectations..., 6 July 2010
Prior to reading this I thought it might be the next great novel - a masterpiece to go alongside the best books I've ever read and deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World and The Pornographer's Poem. Sadly, it didn't quite reach those heights. It was good, possibly even very good, but not brilliant. It's hard to say why exactly, though I definitely enjoyed the earlier sections featuring McMurphy much more than those focusing on the insanity of the narrator - Chief Bromden. His sections certainly improved as the novel went on and it is a very well written, engrossing work. The only thing wrong with it was it didn't quite match my expectations - if I'd read it knowing nothing about it I would probably have been astounded. So, definitely worth a read, but may not quite live up the hype (I am very tight when it comes to giving five stars though - I think they should only be awarded to the best books I've ever read, which others can't hope to compete with).


Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect intro to Murakami - then move on to his better works, 6 July 2010
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This review is from: Norwegian Wood (Paperback)
I am a huge fan of Murakami's and have already read most of his novels. Despite owning this one for a while, I deliberately held off on reading it - it's his most well-known book and as such, I wanted to savour it. Now that it's gone I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's also clear to see why it's his most popular work - it's easily the most straightforward thing I've read by him, with none of the bizarre goings on I associate with books such as Kafa by the shore.
If I'd never read anything else by him and someone told me the plot I don't think I'd have been interested - essentially it's a simple love story, as the narrator tells us about the women in his life while he was a student. But it is told so well and with such an elegant turn of phrase (the translator deserves some respect for this) that it really is brilliant. Not quite Murakami's best in my opinion, but an excellent introduction to anyone wanting to dip their toe in the water. Then they can move on to South of the border, west of the sun, A Wild Sheep Chase and all.


1984 Nineteen Eighty-four (Penguin Modern Classics)
1984 Nineteen Eighty-four (Penguin Modern Classics)
by George Orwell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece - everyone should read this, 4 July 2010
Five star reviews are dished out like sweets on Amazon it seems. Such acclaim should really be reserved for the best books of all time and this is one such classic. Like Brave New World and A Clockwork Orange, it paints a dark, dystopian view of the future but one that is very much based in reality. I can't say enough good things about this book - from the genius way in which Orwell deconstructs language to reduce freedom of expression through to the array of phrases that have entered the modern lexicon, it is a perfect example of the modern novel. Everyone on this planet should read this and look on in awe...


Friday at the Nobody Inn
Friday at the Nobody Inn
by Mark Hayhurst
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of errors but as long as you're prepared for these it's ok..., 4 July 2010
This is hardly a modern classic, destined to be read by future generations. On the contrary, it's full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and some of the plotlines are crow-barred together so awkwardly it's embarrassing. It's inconsistent and farfetched (two kids who have been locked up in a cellar for life and yet are incredibly worldly?) and doesn't make a lot of sense. But as long as you're prepared for all this, you may enjoy this book. I certainly didn't hate it, but it's a far cry from the level I expect of a novel, particularly one with the glowing reviews this has received. It's a quick read and the story does enough to hold the reader's interest but you're probably better off choosing a similar text that has been written in a much more controlled manner. Something like `Kill your friends' by John Niven would be a good start. On the plus side, if this has been published then there's hope for all aspiring writers out there. As long as you're not expecting literary brilliance, this will pass a few hours on the beach without causing major pain.


Running with Scissors: A Memoir
Running with Scissors: A Memoir
by Augusten Burroughs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A detached view of an insane childhood..., 4 July 2010
Running with Scissors is a quick, easy read and as such is worth a look if you're after a memoir detailing how horrific a child's life can be. There are plenty of shocking moments in this book (particularly surrounding his older lover), but the whole thing is written in such a detached, uncaring way that you are left wondering how the author actually feels about these things. There were no laugh out loud moments for me but I still enjoyed it. I imagine there are better books out there in the same genre though, so maybe look around before opting for this...


Carry Me Down
Carry Me Down
by Maria Hyland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.51

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but nothing special, 1 July 2010
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
This was an easy, enjoyable enough read but not enough happened for my liking. Certain passages early in the book hinted at something dark taking place - a hidden side to the family that would be revealed but this never came to fruition. There are very few turning points in the novel and almost no major incidents. Despite this, it is well written and an enjoyable story. It's probably worth a read but it's not going to change your life or be seen as a `classic' in years to come. A better, quicker read is `When I was five I killed myself' by Howard Buten, but even that's flawed.


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