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Reviews Written by
N. Merchant "Neophyte critic" (UK)

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Price: £3.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, moving and insightful, 3 Sep 2014
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A joyous use of language, a seemingly effortless flow and fine observations of family relationships, all combined with a sensitive and passionate treatment of the core subject matter, made this a wonderful read.


An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
Price: £3.03

4.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force, mais......, 3 Jan 2014
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Classic Robert Harris: meticulously researched; very well constructed; reads fluently; informative, educational and entertaining (pace the Beeb); but somehow it didn't grip or engage me the way that all his other works have done.


Loss of Light
Loss of Light
Price: £2.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lewes exposee, 25 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Loss of Light (Kindle Edition)
What a great book! Instantly recognisable characters, excellent use of Lewes locations and events, and written with great empathy for the hapless teenager Sam. Hints of Tom Sharpe. Really enjoyable for a Lewes resident, but can stand on its own even for those poor souls who don't live in the centre of the Cosmos.


The Riddle of the Sands
The Riddle of the Sands
Price: £0.61

5.0 out of 5 stars an oldie but goodie, 21 Dec 2013
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I first read this in the autumn of 1979, while on a (solitary) fishing holiday on a cruiser around the Norfolk Broads and River estuaries in November. About as close as you could get to the setting of the book: foggy days and nights, mooring at little tidal quays and venturing ashore for provisions. I remember also that 'Not a Penny More' by Geoffrey Archer was book of the week on Radio 4.

I remembered the basics of the plot but was surprised at this second reading at the datedness of the language and writing style, which I don't recall noting at the time.


Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics)
Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics)
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars at last I've read it, 27 Nov 2013
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After a (six decades plus) lifetime I've read it. And what a pleasure. I laughed out loud several times. Yet beneath the parody lies the real, acute observation of country life and nature. A unique work.


The Detective's Daughter
The Detective's Daughter
Price: £2.09

3.0 out of 5 stars imaginative plot, 13 Aug 2013
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I gave this 4 stars initially, but realised that my own knowledge of many of the story's locations added to my enjoyment, so took it down to 3.

It's a good read, with interesting, if sometimes implausible, characters and a clever, imaginative plot. Little things rankled the pedant in me: dawn does not come up at 4am in January (I wish), nor does it have a dawn chorus. These are small gripes though. I enjoyed it very much.


Inferno: (Robert Langdon Book 4)
Inferno: (Robert Langdon Book 4)
Price: £3.32

2.0 out of 5 stars turgid, 5 Aug 2013
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A clever idea for the plot, but such a tedious litany of spurious fact, melodrama and implausibilities. And such a lumpen writing style.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Price: £4.84

4.0 out of 5 stars an entertaining and cheering read, 26 May 2013
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Very imaginative. Hilarious, cleverly written, brilliant one-liners. Touching, and all too close to reality. A friend pointed me towards the book as a read to cheer me up after I tore an Achiiles tendon. Perfect for the job.


Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
Price: £3.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolf Halll, 11 April 2013
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This review is from: Wolf Hall (Kindle Edition)
A masterly example of the fiction writer's craft. Cromwell the man comes alive: he shows the scars, experiences, fears, doubts, frailties,desires and ambitions that shape him, just as they shape each of us. Some sentences sing out loud, others whisper. All contribute, with scarcely a wasted word.


Corduroy Mansions
Corduroy Mansions
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Same flour, new bag, 20 Oct 2009
This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Hardcover)
If you've read the Scotland Street series, don't waste your money. An old house converted into flats, an eligible middle aged man and a woman with her eyes on him, a painting, a dog, an assortment of dithering, uncertain people, a dinner party ending with a poem. Haven't I read this before somewhere......? All that's missing is a Bertie, the best of the Scotland St characters.

This is shameless recycling of an idea. The same flour in a new bag. Some say that Mozart didn't compose 400 pieces - he composed the same piece 400 times. But Mozart had genius on his side.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 22, 2012 10:42 PM BST


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