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The Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb retelling, 1 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Song of Achilles (Paperback)
A beautifully grafted book. If you know The Iliad you will love the back story and characters. If you do not know The Iliad you will be keen to read it after this experience. Western literature owes so much to the myths of the classical world. Read this and immerse yourself in delight.


The Luminaries
The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art, 22 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Luminaries (Paperback)
I appear to only provide feedback on really good books - so here we go. This is a book that demands praise for many different reasons. I cannot believe that Eleanor Catton was only 28 when she received the Booker Prize. This reads like a book that has been many years in its construction. I use that verb deliberately as it is a book of exquisite structure. But it is the quality of writing that remains with the reader. The author takes her time to develop characters and situations that gather pace for the reader. A plot that draws us closer and generates quite a sprint finish, no mean feat after 800 pages. This is true talent - I expect great things. My only fear is that Eleanor may find this magnum opus a hard act to follow.


Augustus: A Novel
Augustus: A Novel
by John Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem, 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Augustus: A Novel (Paperback)
Having a fondness for all things roman and relating to the transition between republic and empire; I was drawn to this book. It is a fascinating fictionalised account of the life of Octavius provided by the thoughts and words of those who accompanied him on his journey and development. Cleverly conceived and beautifully written a joy to read. Importantly - it would be a valuable addition to the library of anyone who feels that they already know the subject matter well. To those who just want to read excellent prose and lose themselves in a book, immerse yourselves in a writer who is at the height of his powers. I must now turn my attentions to his other works.


The Goldfinch
The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The craft of writing - breathtaking, 28 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Goldfinch (Hardcover)
I must admit to being sceptical about this book. Could it possibly live up to the hype - did it justify the fanfare - were the reviews a little sentimental; longing for a return to 'the secret history'?
I have read very widely and with passion over many years. So it is not without a great deal of consideration that I award this book 5 stars. It is simply an astonishing example of what 'good' literature should be. Donna Tartt has written a modern day classic. This book will stand the test of time and be studied for decades. It is one of the very few recent works that deserve to stand alongside Dickens (this is a modern-day Great Expectations) and the Russian authors mentioned in the text.
Please read and enjoy: the staggering honesty of the moments; the pace of narrative; and the beauty of literature as art.


Resolution (Garnethill 3)
Resolution (Garnethill 3)
by Denise Mina
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please read all three!!!!, 23 Jan. 2013
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What a great ending to a very engaging trilogy! Denise Mina continues to develop her characters into potential small screen stars!! Her ear for the spoken word is very good and her descriptive powers improve with each book. The Garnet Hill 'suite' will delight lovers of crime - especially those who enjoy Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie stories. I deliberately read these three books before trying her recent works and I am very happy that I did. I would encourage readers to devour all three in rapid succession. There is a plot that is excellent and sustained, characters that grow with each chapter and scenarios that develop beautifully. Still got the rubbish proof-readers but I am willing to overlook them - why? - because I am delighted that Denise has finished off a great story (in three great books) with a brilliant ending. Read and enjoy!!!


Exile (Garnethill 2)
Exile (Garnethill 2)
by Denise Mina
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book - still no proof reading, 17 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Exile (Garnethill 2) (Paperback)
Three cheers for Denise Mina!!! She followed up the great Garnet Hill with a belting book. The plot is superb - the characters continue to grow and the reader gets their money's worth. She is a true entertainer. Maureen, Liam and Leslie are destined for the small screen - without a doubt.

However, she has failed to sack her proof reading team! Once again, I would have given this book five stars but cannot due to the very bad (worse than the previous book) type errors scattered throughout the book. It spoils the reading experience - editors please take note!! Now for Resolution (Garnethill 3)!


Garnethill (Garnethill 1)
Garnethill (Garnethill 1)
by Denise Mina
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great book - poor proof reading, 17 Jan. 2013
This was the first Denise Mina book I read. I love `tartan noir' and looked forward to an entertaining read. She exceed my expectations!! The lady can write. She is witty and has a good ear for local vernacular. The story is strong and contains important messages that are very relevant to society today. Great characters who have feelings and flaws. The plot is not simplistic and keeps the reader engaged. Denise Mina will be a writer to watch as she takes her craft to new levels - I will be keeping a close eye on her career.

However, she needs to sack her proof reading team immediately!! I would have given this book at least four stars (mibby 5) but simply cannot due to the bad (really, really bad) errors in the book. Names are spelt differently on the same page - misspelt place names - transposed letters - etc. It is a real shame that such poor quality control managed to make it into print!! Now for Exile (Garnet Hill 2)


Wise Blood
Wise Blood
by Flannery O'Connor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very gothic!, 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Wise Blood (Paperback)
An impulse buy that was a sheer delight. This book is fascinating. It contains a spellbinding tale - immersed in the gothic style of 'the south'. I loved All the King's Men (Penguin Modern Classics) and decided to expand my reading of that genre and time. Flannery O'Connor writes 'hard' and 'sparse' but she never wastes a word. You can feel the poverty and the despair of the times. If you enjoyed Steinbeck, try this; it paints a vivid picture using a different style. To those who love the written word and appreciate the craft of writing - please add this to your reading list.


Cassandra at the Wedding (New York Review Books Classics)
Cassandra at the Wedding (New York Review Books Classics)
by Dorothy Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 28 Dec. 2012
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I heard about this book; it was described as a 'timeless masterpiece'. High praise! It is worthy of that and more. This book is well written, witty and thought provoking. I have already bought and gifted three copies. Buy it and relish well crafted writing.


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