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Nicodemus Jones

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2666
2666
by Roberto Vidal Bolaño
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic Marmite book, 4 May 2010
This review is from: 2666 (Paperback)
Bolano was a brave man. This is like DeLillo's 'Underworld' and James Joyce's 'Ulysses', and you'll either love it or hate. It's one of those books that's so easy to be impressed by, simply because of its scope and bravura, but there is also a great deal to like about it from the viewpoint of how he deals with each thread of the story, how he manages to weave them all together (or not, in some cases), and how he manages to keep you reading even when it feels as though not a great deal of any significance is happening. I nearly gave up a couple of times, and then it became a matter of principle, and I am very glad to have persisted. As I said, a brave man who wrote a challenging and brilliant book, but it will divide camps, no doubt.


Wonder Boys
Wonder Boys
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, charming, enlightening..., 4 May 2010
This review is from: Wonder Boys (Paperback)
A great read. Charming, humorous, very readable, and yet very telling in its analysis of the human condition and what people will do to get where they want to get in life. I have yet to read more Chabon, but this has kickstarted a desire to read all of his works. Made me smile, rather than laugh out loud, but I smiled a great deal!


Child of God
Child of God
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just so, so different...., 4 May 2010
This review is from: Child of God (Paperback)
Inured to the ever-promised and never-delivered 'brilliance' and 'shockingly compelling' blurbs of UK crime fiction, I thought I would go in a completely different direction. I read four books by McCarthy, this one, 'Outer Dark', also 'The Orchard Keeper and 'Blood Meridian'. What a revelation! Entirely different and refreshing. Dark, brutal, unforgiving, actually compelling (such an over-used word, and so often applied to books that are about as 'compelling' as the proverbial paint-watching exercise), this was gripping and unputdownable from the very start. It takes a special kind of writer to not only deliver a great story, but also deliver it in language that is very much his/her own, and that makes you stop and view things differently. Can't recommend it highly enough!


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

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, terrible, ferocious..., 4 May 2010
This review is from: Outer Dark (Paperback)
There is little you can say about Cormac McCarthy. He is a truly unique writer. He spares us nothing, and in a book like 'Outer Dark' you feel the utter sense of despair occasioned by the lifestyle of the characters. Unforgiving and terrible in a way, much like 'Blood Meridian', 'Outer Dark' is one of the apocalyptically brutal stories that promises redemption, and then...
You just have to read it. You'll love it or hate it.


Acts of Violence (Macmillan New Writing)
Acts of Violence (Macmillan New Writing)
by Ryan David Jahn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.04

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, challenging, brilliant..., 4 May 2010
Again, I picked this up as it had an RJ Ellory blurb on the front, and off we went! Grabbed me from the get-go. Really well-constructed, different and unusual, a real breath of fresh air after all the predictable and formulaic UK crime fiction that we seem to be overwhelmed by at the moment. I really hope this is the start of a long and illustrious career for Mr. Jahn, as he appears to have talent to spare.


Winterland
Winterland
by Alan Glynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most..., 4 May 2010
This review is from: Winterland (Paperback)
Picked this up because of the blurb from RJ Ellory, and I am a big Ellory fan, and I wasn't disappointed. I don't limit myself to crime fiction at all, but I have made an effort to read as much as I can in the past. There are a lot of US greats - Lehane and Pelecanos for an example, writers who write with heart, but as far as UK crime writers are concerned I really have begun to feel that they are all much of a muchness. Rankin is great, in a class of his own really, and then there are the imitators such as Billingham, MacBride etc. who are not in the same league by any stretch of the imagination. It was refreshing to read Alan Glynn as he hasn't opted to follow the pattern of so many others. Here we don't find the predictable and uninspired 'troubled cop' who listens to Johnny Cash or whoever, bucking authority, ex-wife, cat or dog or parakeet (delete as applicable), one-time drink problem blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. Here we have something that's a little different, and all the better for it.
Hopefully Mr. Glynn just gets better from here on in.


Koko
Koko
by Peter Straub
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A tough but rewarding read..., 4 May 2010
This review is from: Koko (Paperback)
Straub is an enigma. His books shouldn't work, but they do. Long, involved, densely-constructed, an almost dry and academic prose style lacking in flourish and elegant turns of phrase, but utterly compelling. I have read a few. Really struggled with 'If You Could See Me Now', but this, along with 'Ghost Story' and 'Floating Dragon' are really quite extraordinary and unforgettable. Be brave, give it a go.


Julius Winsome
Julius Winsome
by Gerard Donovan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Sparse and beautiful prose., 3 May 2010
This review is from: Julius Winsome (Paperback)
A really well-written novel. Short, concise, elegant in pace and style, but never lacking in impact and emotion. Very highly recommended, and I shall definitely follow up on this author and read his other works.


Mystic River
Mystic River
by Dennis Lehane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars More than a crime novel..., 11 Nov 2009
This review is from: Mystic River (Paperback)
A book about a crime yes, but also about a community, about families, about loyalty, betrayal, loss, redemption, all of it in Lehane's great prose. I am not a fan of his series novels - the PI stuff, as they take too much suspension of disbelief, but this is great. A really, really good read.


Texas Sugar
Texas Sugar

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sound!, 11 Nov 2009
This review is from: Texas Sugar (Audio CD)
Later albums seemed weaker, but this - I believe the first - is truly awesome. A big, fat rich guitar sound, perhaps in the vein of SRV and Bonamassa, but definitely his own style and voice. A really good original blues artiste. There are so many, and they all sound so similar, but this guy really stands out from the crowd. Energetic, passionate, raw, powerful. An excellent album for motorway driving and riotous parties!


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