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Reviews Written by
Margie F (Bahrain)

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The Art of Travel
The Art of Travel
by Alain de Botton
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a perfect beach read, 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Art of Travel (Paperback)
A dip of the toe into philosophy via art, literature and Expedia. De Botton has a knack of making his readers feel clever, regardless of whether or not you have any prior knowledge of the works of art being referenced in each chapter. Which is a very clever thing to be able to do. His observations are largely common sense and entirely understandable (beginning with the premise that when you travel, you unavoidably take with you the thing that you may most wish to leave behind - yourself). His style of writing is endearing; descriptive, funny and frank. It's not a book to change your life, but it is a wholly appropriate and very pleasurable beach read.


Black Swan Green
Black Swan Green
by David Mitchell
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Mitchell's best, but still beautiful, 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Black Swan Green (Paperback)
Having devoured Mitchell's previous works - and having a particularly soft spot for Ghostwritten - I was pleased that to have read `less than perfect' reviews before buying. Prepared for disappointment, it should be acknowledged that it is only the strength of Mitchell's previous work that makes BSG seem a lesser book, which is hardly a criticism. It feels like a first novel (a comment that is difficult to apply to Ghostwritten). A tale of adolescent angst and personal development, it is almost as if this was something that Mitchell had to write before he could move on to bigger and better things with the next novel (whatever that may be). An exorcism of a book.


Bulletproof Suzy
Bulletproof Suzy
by Ian Brotherhood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brave and ambitious piece of writing, 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Bulletproof Suzy (Paperback)
Visual, violent and vociferous, Bulletproof Suzy has won itself (herself) a place in my affections. This book is full of dark passageways, rain-heavy skies, concrete tower blocks - it's almost unremittingly bleak and grey. So heavy is it on the monochrome (Suzy and her brooding crew of `little ladies' dress only in black and white, and even their hair seems to come soley in shades of platinum or ebony) that the use of colour when it does appear - in the names of the tower blocks that our anti-heroine and her pals live in; Magenta, Cherry, Cerulean - acts like the red coat in Shindler's List. It is suddenly shot-through with a Technicolor wakeup call.

Brotherhood's first novel is a brave and ambitious piece of writing. It's political, adventurous, funny, sinister, clever, and immensely readable. Great stuff.


We Need To Talk About Kevin (Five Star Paperback)
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Five Star Paperback)
by Lionel Shriver
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly un-patronising read, 14 Nov. 2006
Lent and recommended by a friend. Being a Raymond Carver devotee, twist-in-the-tale endings are a real bug-bear, but if you can forgive this all-too-common literary failing then the book is engrossing and unsettling in equal measures. Asking big questions about modern motherhood, responsibility and nature vs nurture, without spoon-feeding any answers or even reaching any conclusions. It is a refreshingly un-patronising read. In the canon of post-Columbine storytelling, like the print and screen offerings from Coupland, DBC Pierre and Van Sant, it is well worth making time for.


The Accidental
The Accidental
by Ali Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtaking book., 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Accidental (Paperback)
A breathtaking book. I love Smith's writing; her multi-voiced, multi-p.o.v. stories of events. The truth unfurling from different perspectives as you turn the pages. Her voices are genuine. Young, old, male, female. Each an individual with a unique take on the narrative. It is a beautiful book. A flipped-out-reworked-happy-ending-modern-day Monkey's Paw of a story with some truly beautiful moments and a real socio-political message.


Fludd
Fludd
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautifully realised work by Mantel, 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Fludd (Paperback)
I love Mantel. And can't believe her books aren't better known. Her work is complex, and unlike anyone else I have read, she seems to embody the skills and stories of four or five different authors. Her books cross continents and eras, her writing veering from brutally real to entirely magical. Fludd is the shortest and one of her most likeable reads. The Yorkshire town, the smell of a fusty 1950's school gym, the fear of the unknown, the superstition of Christianity and the allusion to alchemy are all intertwined and beautifully evoked in this gem of a book.


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