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Violet Daze (Brighton, UK)

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Untold Story
Untold Story

3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I'm a hypocrite, but..., 30 Mar 2013
This review is from: Untold Story (Kindle Edition)
I must admit I was drawn to the book because of the potentially controversial subject matter, and I have to say that I enjoyed the earlier chapters when it was more 'is it her?' 'is it not her?' (I actually read this when it first came out and had managed to avoid the spoilers). Maybe I'm a bit of a hypocrite because on one hand I was drawn to it because it was rumoured to be about Princess Diana but when it was made clear that was meant to be her I kind of went off it, not because I thought it tasteless but more that it seemed less inventive than making her someone else. Of course there's the whole 'new life' in the US which although cleverly written is undeniably dreary, I suppose that's the point though... As for the other characters: I thought Lawrence was well rounded (although his back story dragged on a bit), Grabowski was a bit cartoony and the female friends put me in mind of John Updike. So all in all: not bad, but not what I expected. I actually preferred a book I downloaded recently called 'The Rachel Redemption' which takes a Princess Diana-like character faking her death and then runs with the idea, it's entertaining but also makes some good points about celebrity and politics. I'd probably recommend that over Untold Story, but maybe that's just me...

A Clergyman's Daughter
A Clergyman's Daughter
by George Orwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still politicising young girls to this day, 15 Mar 2013
This review is from: A Clergyman's Daughter (Paperback)
Like a lot of people I was 'given' Orwell to read at school and it was a case of 'OK, yeah, I can see what he's getting at but would I actually want to pick up anything by him to read for pleasure'? Then, a few years later I discovered The Clergyman's Daughter and I was hooked. Now I hasten to add that it wasn't Mr Orwell I got hooked on but just the book itself, so I can understand why this isn't Orwell purists' favourite work of his. The whole idea of a woman going from her cosseted life to an alien world which is basically on her doorstep and becoming politicised stayed with me years after reading it. I had a copy on my bookshelf for ages and kept meaning to take it down for a re-read/reassessment, it wasn't until I read The Rachel Redemption recently and was very much struck by the similarities to TC'sD (Dorothy is now the Princess Diana type wife, of a Tony Blair type PM, who gets radicalised - trust me, it works!)that I was prompted to re-read. And yes, the verdict is a positive one, maybe I was just a little more receptive all those years ago but I still think it's intelligent, inspiring and a good read. Maybe a bit 'girly' for the purists but then if it inspires young girls, why not?

The Rachel Redemption
The Rachel Redemption
Price: 1.11

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Rachel?, 13 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read a review saying this was based on the whole Princess Diana cult which it sort of is, inasmuch as the Rachel in the title comes from a aristocratic background, is a tireless worker for charity and becomes this kind of international style icon - oh, and 'dies' in a car crash as well. But instead of being a princess she's married to the Prime Minister who undoubtedly is based on Tony Blair. She's disgusted with the way he's become a war monger and it's hinted that she's had a few affairs, the most recent being with Dari (Dodi?), an Iranian surgeon, and as the whole media circus is closing in it suits all parties to fake a car crash so they can all start new lives.
The story uses real-life events (death of Diana, the Iraq war, the London bombings, the Catholic Church scandals) as a starting point and then weaves in and out with an original plot, keeping a good pace. There are some passages which are really moving and sensual but also some grittier scenes laced with black humour (especially the ones with the Alistair Campbell-like Alex Glaister and his Russian mafia cronies) which make for an engaging read. The action really cranks up at the end with a few good twists, leaving things wide open for a sequel, which I'd definitely be up for!

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