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Max Watt (UK)
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Riotous Assembly
Riotous Assembly
by Tom Sharpe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You miss one, you miss the lot, 30 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Riotous Assembly (Paperback)
A hilarious satire on the South African Police. What I find most impressive is that even though it is set against such a dark and realistic context, Sharpe still manages to create side splitting humour. It is characterized effectively, written clearly, and is genuinely easy to read, not to mention it is concise and keeps you interested from start to finish. Ideal for a day off!

The story-line is pretty bizarre, but that is what makes it so entertaining. This is the kind of book where you will laugh aloud many times within the space of a page and a half. If you're in the mood for a laugh, this is the book to read.


Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics)
Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics)
by Thomas Hardy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Heart-felt misery, 30 Dec 2010
A thought provoking book. It follows the main character, Jude Fawley, as he follows his ambition of studying at the University of Christminister. It's a very powerful book that deals with the issues surrounding a Victorian society, and is a good read too. I'd suggest you be thick skinned when you read it because (I don't say this lightly) it's bleak as hell. There are light moments too, but they are greatly undermined by the heavy ones. Towards the end is the most miserable concept I've ever read, and it's beyond any pessimism that you could find in "Tess if the d'Urbervilles."

It is powerful, written wonderfully, and is a great story. Highly recommended.


The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ (Myths)
The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ (Myths)
by Philip Pullman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story, 18 Nov 2010
Pullman has written an interesting retelling of the story of Jesus in which Mary gives birth to two children, Jesus and Christ. Throughout their lives Jesus tells the stories to people while Christ records them, and enhances them so that an ordinary circumstance appears as a miracle. Within the novel is a retelling of "The Prodigal Son", of Jesus' temptations in the desert, and of the resurrection, all of which are very interesting and believable. There is also a very controversial questioning of whether or not God exists.

It's a relatively short novel, but a thought provoking one. The ideas expressed are within a well written story.

For what it is it works very well, but I did find Jesus' use of colloquial phrases such as "smartarse", "bloody" and "sod" in his monologue slightly surreal...

My only complaint is about the controversy. It's ridiculous. People need to stop taking things so seriously. Take a leaf from the blurb of the hardcover:

"THIS IS A STORY"


The Invisible Man (Penguin Classics)
The Invisible Man (Penguin Classics)
by H.G. Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insane, thoughtful, and moving, 18 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
HG Wells, author of THE TIME MACHINE, the first novel to mention time travel, and THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the first story of alien invasion, and father of science fiction, delivers an extremely entertaining novel.

I personally see it in two parts - the first being from the perspective of working class people, and the second from the perspective of the invisible man himself.

The first half consists of much insanity such as moving furniture, burglary, and an unveiling of a mysterious character.

One event follows another which follows another and it never slows down. You'll read chapter after chapter, refusing to put it down. Not to mention, it's actually really funny.

In the second half, however, things become much more serious, as back story is developed. Readers are taken on a journey, from being an outsider to understanding the invisible man. Some may even find poignance in the climactic ending. But that's for you to decide.

Overall it's a fantastic piece of literature containing many qualities ranging from humour to drama.


Outer Dark
Outer Dark
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most disturbing novel I have ever read, without question., 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: Outer Dark (Paperback)
And the strangest. Cormac McCarthy takes apart the storytelling formula and rearranges it to his own muse.

First off, no speech marks. How often does that happen? No semi-colons either. The structure is probably of the rarest in literature.

A great thing about it is that the metaphors have nothing to do with "representing" anything, or displaying a meaning. They are there simply to tell the story, so when you put it down you are not thinking about issues surrounding the world, you are thinking about how much you enjoyed it.

The story is very dramatic, but doesn't shy away from violence. When something horrible happens, you know about it. The ending is grotesque, bloody and eery.

It is a fascinating and horrifying experience that keeps the reader hooked from page one. I couldn't recommend it enough.


The Jonah
The Jonah
by James Herbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A horror novel?, 11 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Jonah (Paperback)
This book is pretty damn good. I found it hard to put down, was absorbed in the story, and growing increasingly tense as I turned the pages. So why the one star?

Because the climax is ridiculous.

That may sound petty to some, but seriously, is this meant to be scary? The humour and tongue-in-cheek tone completely kill the mood and I didn't feel threatened at all.

The synergists - who are supposedly the villains - are ridiculous. They aren't scary in the slightest. I felt as though I could have escaped, had I been in the position that the main characters find themselves in, with ease.

There are hundreds of gags throughout this climax which made me hate the book, and it's possible that you're thinking, "Why did he only give it one star if he only disliked the ending?" to which I would reply: the climax is one of the most important parts of a story, particularly a horror. The entire novel builds up to that moment, and what do we get? The cheesiest, most unrealistic, and formulaic ending we could have expected.

Do not read this book if you are looking for horror. This is not it. If you want to be scared, read "Outer Dark" by Cormac McCarthy, or Herbert's later novel "Nobody True". They are more competent than this thing ever will be.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2013 12:41 PM GMT


Serial
Serial
Price: 0.77

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun for those who enjoy a twisted story, 10 Nov 2010
This review is from: Serial (Kindle Edition)
A very gripping and enjoyable short story, which I would only recommend if you can stomach it. The things the killers do to their victims are pretty gruesome, particularly Crouch's. The ending will both satisfy you and make you cringe.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books of the decade, 25 Oct 2010
This novel, at a glance, appears to be about a 15 year old autistic kid who finds a dog who has been killed in a rather gruesome way, and sets out to solve the mystery in a Sherlock Holmes like way. But it's not just about that. It's also a family drama in a lot of ways, and has a lot of deep back story. It's surprisingly hard hitting, and I truly empathized and felt like I understood the kid. There is also a twist about half way through the story which intensifies your interest in it to a greater level.

It's fairly short, but it keeps you hooked from beginning to end. It's one of those books you will remember after you put down.

It's also a great insight into autism, and truly makes you understand such people with the illness - however, I'd take this with a grain of salt, because the author claims to have done no research for it.

Highly recommended.


The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 15 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
A father and a son travel through the wasteland of a post apocalyptic world where danger is lurking everywhere. A different kind of book. McCarthy does not use semi colons or speech marks, and the writing itself is obscure. It's brilliant. I couldn't recommend it enough.

I just don't understand everyone's problem with it being bleak. It's a novel about the world in tatters where there is little hope of survival, it's meant to be bleak.

The relationship between father and son is clearly strong except we don't really learn anything about the characters - it is all left to imagination. It may not sound like much is happening but something is ALWAYS happening, and it keeps you hooked from cover to cover. Make sure you have a lot of free time, because once you start you won't stop. It's an extremely fast read, if you like it as much as me you'll speed through the pages.

A gripping dystopian novel, written wonderfully, and poignant at the end.


Carver City
Carver City
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 12.61

4.0 out of 5 stars At new heights, 30 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carver City (Audio CD)
CKY have truly evolved with Carver City.

Hellions on Parade - A very strong opening track with a brilliant opening riff. I can really picture the mosh pits at a CKY gig when I listen to this. It experiments with vocal harmony, which has a powerful effect on the song. It really sets the standards high for the rest of the album.

...And She Never Returned - Like many songs on this album, there's so much going on in it you could listen to it 100 times and find something new every time. I didn't enjoy this song as much as the first but it's still a strong track

Rats in the Infirmary - One of the best. Great chorus and an equally great message in the lyrics.

Imaginary Threats - In my opinion, the weak point of the album. By the time this song ended I was becoming worried that there would be more like it. A well structured song, but I can't see myself headbanging and miming the lyrics to it any time soon.

The Boardwalk Body - Awesome. The opening riff is pure CKY, and it spirals upwards to new heights as the song goes on.

Plagued By Images - Another less memorable track, but it still has an interesting riff and structure that left me feeling disorientated.

Karmaworks - Not so much to say about this one. Nice opening riff, good structure, strong lyrics, and a class guitar solo.

Woe is Me - Slow at first and another I can picture a CKY gig to when listening to it. Chugging riff towards the middle, and fantastic structure both musically and lyrically.

A#1 Roller Rager - A much lighter song, easy to sing along with and memorable. It's a much simpler song than a lot of others, as less is going on at one time.

Old Carver's Bones - Mostly instrumental...but not quite. Acoustic and electric guitar and synthesized music combine a disorientating soundtrack. It's slightly strange in a way that's difficult to explain.

The Era of an End - A soft ending to an overall fantastic album. It brings to mind previous songs such as "To All of You" from Volume 1, with fantastic new Carver City material.

A great album just like "Volume 1", "Infiltrate-Destroy-Rebuild" and "An Answer can be Found" with all the merits of CKY that make them as popular as they are, with a new approach. I highly reccomend it.


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