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Ally Atherton (Lancashire, UK)

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Clouded Vision (Quick Reads 2011)
Clouded Vision (Quick Reads 2011)
Price: 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun with a capital F, 16 April 2014
Ellie awoke to find herself mortally injured and strapped into the passenger seat of her car. All around her is white. At first she thinks she's in Heaven and then she sees the trees in the distance and the cold ice staring back at her. The she hears the CRACK and then the next CRACK and the car starts to fall.

This is another Quick Read that I managed to get my hands on and another new Author for me. I'm not really a big thriller fan but this small book was fun with a capital F. It was just the right size to keep me interested and entertained and was a real page turner. It is full of twists and turns and neatly, it is always one step ahead of you, just when you think you have it all worked out.

If you fancy a quick read but don't want to get stuck into anything time consuming, you can't go wrong with this. Even if, like me, thrillers don't normally tickle your fancy.

4/5


A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Price: 4.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Un readable on the original kindle., 22 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this free book because I was a big Peanuts fan as a kid.

Sadly once it was downloaded, it was unreadable on my original kindle. The words were way too small and so you couldn't read it at all. Maybe those with more up to date kindles and devices wouldn't have this problem.

But nothing lost, it's a fee download.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 22, 2013 11:56 PM GMT


Dark Matter
Dark Matter
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read this year!, 25 Jun 2013
This review is from: Dark Matter (Paperback)
Disillusioned by his life Jack sets sail for the Artic where he will work as a wireless operator as part of a five man expedition team. As the night's draw thin and the sun disappears, things start to go bump in the night and people begin to go a little thin on the ground.

I absolutely adore this book. Told from the first person perspective we experience life on Gruhuken, where it is perpetual night and where the sea freezes and the ice talks. As ghost stories go this has to be up there with the best. Jeffery Deaver says that it's like Stephen King meets Jack London; and I know what he's saying, it's scary and compelling and a thoroughly good read.
I can't remember a book that has scared me and hooked me like this for a long time, maybe it was actually Stephen King's 'Bag Of Bones' and this book reminds me of that one. It's well written, well crafted and stays with you. Not bad for a random book that I plucked up at my local library. This has all my favourite ingredients; a fantastic setting, horror, a great story and huskies! Can't beat huskies in a novel! I must read more from Michelle Paver!
An amazing 5/5.


Lenore: Noogies
Lenore: Noogies
by Roman Dirge
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 3 Jun 2013
This review is from: Lenore: Noogies (Paperback)
I fancied something a little different and couldn't resist grabbing hold of this at my local library.

It's the first time I've read a graphic novel and I happily read it whilst sitting in my back yard with a can of lager and with the Chorley sun shining.(Which doesn't happen very often.) It's a series of silly stories in the surreal world of a cute little dead girl!

Well I couldn't think of a better way of spending a day off and it is hilarious! I kind of fell in love with the cute little dead girl and must catch up with her again at some point. Maybe again with a can of lager and a spot of sun.

If you fancy a laugh, a real laugh and not just a laugh that you get at the expense of acquiring a literary headache ( see the 100 year old man that jumped out of a window and disappeared), then read this! It's not a comic, honest, it's a graphic novel.

Ok it is a comic. 5/5


A Kind Man
A Kind Man
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, almost edible., 3 Jun 2013
This review is from: A Kind Man (Paperback)
Living somewhere in industrial England, this is about one woman's struggle to deal with life, loss and the impending doom of widespread poverty.

It sounds gloomy but Susan Hill's beautiful prose is spellbounding at times and each page is almost edible as she paints words like not many other writers can. This is the story of Eve and how the joys of childbirth and marriage can crumble and force you to take a different, haunting path.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this but found the ending left me feeling a little bit short changed and too many questions were left hanging for my liking. Maybe that was Susan't intention but personally I would have preferred a different one.

I would have given this a 5 if it hadn't been for the ending.

Wonderful, skilful writing,

4/5 Must read more from Susan Hill.


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Price: 3.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Fans of 'Salmon fishing in the Yemen' would probably like this one., 30 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Allan Karlsson is 100 years old tommorrow and the old people's home have organised a party for him complete with balloons, lot's of food and even the town mayor! But instead he gets up, jumps out of his window and disappears.

There's an entire plethora of reviews out there that range from 'Hilarious' to 'Agonising' and maybe that's because humour is a highly personal and selective thing. This is more 'Yes Prime Minister' than 'Black Adder' although it is extremely silly. The story interchanges between the 100 year old Allan and his early and rather extraordinary life, where he meets an assortment of political leaders and managers to influence world history on a grand scale.

Although I found the book to be amusing in places and probably did learn a bit about world history along the way, it was pretty agonising to read! The convoluted story of how he meets a succession of historical figure just got on my nerves after a while and most of the characters are very much of the wafer thin variety. I certainly didn't find it a page turner and during the course of the week what I really wanted to do was rip the pages out and throw them into something very hot. Maybe the entrance to hell itself.

But as I said, humour is a very personally and subjective thing and perhaps this would appeal to a more high brow, political satire kind of palate. Maybe a radio four listening, telegraph reading, Downton Abbey watching, Jane Austen reading type of guy. As for me I found myself wanting to throw myself out of my own window, although I don't mind a bit of radio four occasionally, but I'm more of a Black Adder kind of guy.

Fans of 'Fly Fishing in the Yemen' would probably like this one.

2/5


Doctor Who: Night of the Humans
Doctor Who: Night of the Humans
by David Llewellyn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A great little runaround!, 7 May 2013
Night of the Humans is part of BBC Book's collection of novels based around the TV Series and features the 11th Doctor and Amy. Landing on a junkyard in space they find themselves caught in between a battle between two alien societies, the Sittuum and a futuristic but savage version of Humans. A devastating comet is on it's way to cause imminent destruction and they face a race against time to save themselves and everybody else.

This is a fun and quick read and I found it much more readable than my previous encounter with BBC Doctor Who books. I really liked the alien world of the Gyre and without being overly convoluted or boring the plot kept my interest and felt like a throwback to the classic series that I gew up with. There are lots of cool aliens and a good balance of action and humour that will probably satisfy many a Whovian. Lots of good characters abound and I particularly liked Dirk Slipstream who (in my mind at least) was definitely Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf!

I grew up with the old Target books and although as an old git I don't get as excited (as I used to) with reading this kind of thing, it was an average entertaining read. A good beginning, a good middle and a decent ending. What more could you want?

3/5

[...]


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)
by Stieg Larsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Uncententionally brilliant!, 24 April 2013
Evil Shall
With Evil
Be Expelled

Henrik Vanger has spent decades trying to find out what happened to his niece Harriet who disappeared into thin air in 1966, finally in one last desperate attempt he enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced journalist.
Blomkvist moves to sleepy Hedeby Island and soon realises that he is not just the hunter but possibly the hunted.
I delayed reading this until now because of all the hype it generated along with the motion picture, I don't like to read a book when everybody is raving about it because there's always a danger that it won't live up to the hype. At 542 pages this is quite a big chunk of a book and I have since read a mixed bag of reviews. Some people think it's over complicated and convoluted and obsessed with mundane details. Yes, maybe it isn't the easiest book to read but that's what I love about it. It's a thinking man's novel, it's in many ways an unconventional thriller. I like the fact that it makes your brain work a little harder, I like the fact that the Author goes into lots of small details, I like the fact that I needed two bookmarks instead of one!
When I first started reading I admit I was a tad weary because I was straight away hit with lots of maps and a complicated family tree on the first few pages. Hence why I needed the multiple bookmarks so that I could keep referring back to them!
But there's lots to love in this novel. I love the location, a fictional island off the coast of Sweden, I love the characters and I love the general atmosphere of the story. Because it's hard to describe but some books do have an atmosphere and the atmosphere of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' gets under your skin in a good way.
Without wanting to give away the ending, the main story ends with about 90 pages to spare and then we have what can only be described as an 'add on' or a 'wrap up' where all the loose ends are wrapped up. This isn't liked by everyone who has read the book but I kind of liked it, even though it is unconventional. Because this whole novel is unconventional, but in a great way.
Sadly Stieg Larsson never lived long enough to see his books in print and because I don't speak Swedish I won't ever know how much this translation by Reg Keeland differs from the originally penned story. So we have to give some credit to Reg for bringing 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' to the public's attention. Now I just have to watch the movie and read the rest of the books in the Millenium Trilogy. I'm not a big thriller fan but this one is good.


Paradise Road
Paradise Road
by Stephen O'Donnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut novel., 31 Mar 2013
This review is from: Paradise Road (Paperback)
This is the debut novel by up and coming Glasgow Author Stephen O'Donnell and follows the lives of Kevin McGarry and several other football fans during the nineties and beyond, warts and all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Kevin has a very promising footballing career ahead of him until injury forces him to try and navigate a new direction in life, a life consisting of alcohol, girls, friendships and his beloved Celtic. It is a story of changes, a story of growing up within a culture of sectarianism, a story of broken dreams, laughter and cultural adversity.

As a self confessed bookaholic and football fan this book ticked a lot of boxes for me before I had even turned the first page. This is in many ways an unconventional book, you don't necessarily have any major blockbusting plot to grab hold of, the point of view changes from one character to another several times (and it isn't always immediately obvious who is speaking or thinking) but for me this unconventional style was one of its strengths. Lets not mess around here, Stephen O'Donnell can really write, Paradise Road is fresh and written with an efficacious combination of wit, realism and social commentary.

Like the main character I have Irish blood in me and am maybe quarter Irish (or maybe a fifth Irish) but unlike Kevin McGarry my family settled in the North West of England and I am a Wigan Athletic fan and not a Celtic fan. But as a football fan I loved how the story transported me onto a bus full of crazy Celtic supporters and onto the terraces of Celtic Park and into a collection of dodgy Scottish pubs! This is a must for any book loving football fans, not only is it hilariously entertaining, it is also thought provoking and touching. Maybe I should get along to Celtic Park at some point and I really wish Scottish football would get it's act together.

5/5 A promising debut novel.


Seven Days To Say I Love You
Seven Days To Say I Love You
Price: 0.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional stuff., 28 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I chose to read this book after spending some time flicking through my kindle for a book that wasn't too big so that I could get this year's 52 book challenge back on track but I also wanted to read something different. I wasn't sure what I was going to get myself into when I looked at the excerpt and didn't know how such a book would make me feel. It is the true story of a young man who discovers that his father is dying of terminal liver cancer and how it affects his life and the life of his family. I knew straight away that this read would be different (and difficult) but I simply had no idea how different.

First of all I must say that I have never come across Ashley Hames before, he is a broadcaster, a presenter and a writer but I have never seen any of his work before. But after reading this very personal and emotional story I feel as if I know him better that a lot of the people in my life! If you are looking for an edge of your seat thriller or the latest action filled blockbuster then this book isn't for you. But if you are looking for something that will move you and get to you emotionally and spiritually and something that will be thought provoking on all levels then read this.

I could go on about '7 days' until my fingers go numb but I think I will sum it up by saying that it is simply emotionally powerful, encouraging, helpful and thought provoking. I will say something now that I haven't had the chance to say before as well. I like books that make me feel something, whether that is joy, excitement, fear, happiness or sadness but this is the ONLY book I have ever read where I have been in tears at the end. Real tears. I was emotional touched by this man's story and I am sure he was feeling each and every emotion as he wrote those final devastating accounts of his father's farewell. I'm sure 7 days to say I love you will be a great help to anybody who is grieving or who has gone through the loss of a loved one. I am not going through anything like that at the moment but it has helped me on an emotional level as I go through the many challenges life has thrown at me. I work as an Oncology nurse and I feel this book has given me more than just an insight into what families go through, it has opened my mind.

This book will linger with me.I'd really love to see a photo of Ashley's father and I wish I had had the pleasure of knowing him. 5/5


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