Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop Now Shop now
Profile for Phil > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Phil
Top Reviewer Ranking: 660,529
Helpful Votes: 44

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Phil (Scotland)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Amsterdam Rampant
Amsterdam Rampant
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, 17 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amsterdam Rampant (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this novel but felt parts of it were under-developed: the relationship between Fin and Gilly had more to be said about it and the plot development with Eva's betrayal didn't quite ring true. Yet there were sections which we brilliantly written and which reminded me of early Ian Banks. Don't imagine the Amsterdam Tourist Board will endorse this but it was a good read from a writer whose work I'd read again.


The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
by JoŽl Dicker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and entertaining novel, 16 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You read about people saying about a book that they "just couldn't put it down" and I have discovered that what I thought was a tired old cliche can, in fact, be true. This is a really enjoyable read: not a great literary classic but a cleverly structured, character-driven novel which keeps the reader engaged and entertained until the end. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well- written thriller with a few days to set aside normal life as it grips and holds until its cllever denouement.


Pure
Pure
by Andrew Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary fiction at its best., 29 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Pure (Paperback)
Never have the dead been so alive: this is a superb book. Characterisation and plotting are both exceptionally strong - from the main protagonist to the colourful cast surrounding him - but the setting is incredible. Both in time and in place - Paris in 1785 - the setting just zings with life, noise, colour... and smell. The main character is charged with the removal of the bones from the graveyard of Les Innocents and his gruesome task involves his near-murder by a love-crazed girl, an affair with an Austrian prostitute and candlelit processions of chanting priests as the bones are carried by night to the ossary. Weird, wonderful and totally believable, this is the best novel I have read since David Mitchell's "Jacob de Zoet" and "And The Land Lay Still" by James Robertson. Literary fiction at its very best!


Birthdays for the Dead
Birthdays for the Dead
by Stuart MacBride
Edition: Hardcover

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Power of diminishing returns, 19 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Birthdays for the Dead (Hardcover)
Originally a blackly funny writer, there is something about MacBride's offering which suggests his best writing is behind him. Attempts at black humour over the deaths and mutilation of young children mis-hit here. His clear desire is to shock but he doesn't - it feels sick and dirty, as if he has consciously decided to shock "Daily Mail" readers at the expense of clever plotting and fully-fleshed characterisation. The trip to England undertaken by the protagonist is unbelieveable and stretches credibility beyond return. I enjoyed the Logan Macrae novels, but each one less so than its predecessor. This has sealed it for me - no more MacBride. He should read a few Ian Rankins to see what strong characters and believeable plots can achieve. And learn what subtlety means.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2013 11:44 AM GMT


Headlong to the Devil
Headlong to the Devil

5.0 out of 5 stars History & Supernatural Horror, 19 Nov. 2011
Part history, part supernatural horror, Headlong to the Devil is a refreshing alternative to the `cutesy' vampires so popular in fiction at present. Fleeing to the New World, Ben McMurdo is an immediately likable character despite his obsession with money. His desire to survive the brutal Dairen colony arouses sympathy and his life as a successful painter and Company of Scotland mapmaker and spy is fascinating. Packed with history, vivid characters, brutality, humour and surprising turns, can't recommend enough...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2015 8:30 PM BST


Druid's Ruin
Druid's Ruin
Price: £2.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Survival, 19 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Druid's Ruin (Kindle Edition)
One man's struggle against an invading superpower, with a touch of Braveheart, Gladiator and Master and Commander. Ghus `the Druid' is an entertaining if lost soul seeking revenge against Governor Flavius of Gaul for the murder of his family and destruction of his glen community. His friend Cahl the hunter aides him. The backup cast of townsfolk and Romans give the story a feeling of realism, sometimes grim and brutal but often warm and moving. The usually superior Romans are portrayed as clumsy and clunky, set against a refined `barbarian' culture. There is a real sense of innovate problem solving too, a knowledge of surviving along with the land that puts even Bear Grylls to shame.


And the Land Lay Still
And the Land Lay Still
by James Robertson
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Novel Scotland Has Been Waiting For., 16 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: And the Land Lay Still (Hardcover)
So many Scottish greats have explored what it means to be Scottish and have attempted an exploration of the psyche of the nation - but no modern author, as far as I am aware, has tackled this issue on this scale. This is Scotland in the last 50 years - religiion, class, politics - in war and in peace and it is stunning. The sweep of political history is explored in the live of its characters. The final chapter? One of the most moving to a novel I have evre read. Utterly brilliant!


The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, intricate, intriguing., 17 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From its first page, this mastefful novel pulled me from the reality of life in the 21st Century into an intricately created world - Japan, many centuries ago. The atmosphere is incredible and the reader is drawn into the harsh realities and complex structures of Japanese life - but we recognise the people as their needs, desires and personal hang-ups are universal. But what a society! Mitchell brings it to life in a breath-taking manner, with s style, flair and vocabulary which leaves you realising how hoplessly inadequate other writers can be. There is a wide-ranging plot which keeps you on tenterhooks regarding the fates of the principal characters and some very exciting set-pieces which increase the tension.
If you liked "Sea Of Poppies" by Amitav Ghosh or "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres, then you will be bowled over by this modern masterpiece.


The Long Glasgow Kiss: A Lennox Thriller
The Long Glasgow Kiss: A Lennox Thriller
by Craig Russell
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glasgow thriller, 11 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Brilliant! Black humour on every page and a real feel of Spillane and Chandler with a Glaswegian tongue-in-cheek twist. Loved it.


The Vintage Caper
The Vintage Caper
by Peter Mayle
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak, 11 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Vintage Caper (Hardcover)
This is a major disappointment from a writer whose work I have previously enjoyed, Characterisation is poor - stereotypes abound and there is no depth to any of them. The beauty of Provence isn't adequately explored and the constant references to food / drink details are mind-numbingly dull. And the ending? I turned the page thinking there was more to come - it feels as if Mayle was as bored as this reader.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2011 10:20 AM GMT


Page: 1