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gareth_nicholson@hotmail.com (London, UK)

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Pierre et Jean (Oxford World's Classics)
Pierre et Jean (Oxford World's Classics)
by Guy de Maupassant
Edition: Paperback

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an understated masterpiece, 31 Dec 2001
a masterpiece from a master stylist -- this book has it all. beautiful prose and psychological tension combine in a rip-roaring tale that will have you thundering through the pages in a vicarious roller-coaster ride to the shattering finale. never has jealousy been explored so exactingly. although bel-ami remains my favourite de maupassant novel (pierre et jean is essentially an extended short story) this small book is immensely satisfying, to be enjoyed like a fine, french wine.


A Small Death in Lisbon
A Small Death in Lisbon
by Robert Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dark and disturbing, 10 April 2000
A Small Death is a much more ambitious novel than Robert Wilson's African quartet but it is nevertheless characterised by the same shaply drawn characters and unerring interest in the darker side of human nature. Personally I found the device deployed in this book of switching from past to present rather irritating and the knitting togther at the end not entirely seamless. However, the writing is beautiful, the plot compelling and one can almost taste and smell both war-torn Berlin and modern day Lisbon. Wilson also demonstrates yet again that he is one of the few writers out there who can write about sex, sexily. This book is very good but one feels that Wilson is a writer honing his art and that the best may yet be to come.


Mr Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade
Mr Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade
by Edward Bunker
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a penetrating insight into the criminal psyche, 12 Jan 2000
Many first-time readers of Bunker may have come across his name via his association with Quentin Tarrantino and the movie Reservoir Dogs, in which he has a minor part. Those hoping for quick thrills, superficial cleverness and gratuitous violence will be disappointed. Bunker's books are a serious and profound analysis of the brutality and despair of the criminal mind. This autobigraphy is a poignant and searing insight into Californian criminal life and Bunker's own personal struggle through the penal system. For anyone who has read his fiction, this autobiography is an absolute must-read. Eloquent, intelligent and packed full of wisdom from the university of life, I defy anyone to read this and not be moved by one man's struggle to find fulfilment and escape through writing. Bunker is no hero but one cannot help but admire this tale of human adventure, perseverance and ultimate redemption.


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