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bloo_toon_red (Scotland)

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The Bourne Identity  (Bourne 1)
The Bourne Identity (Bourne 1)
by Robert Ludlum
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bourne to Thrill, 7 Mar 2012
So this book is as old as I am and I've only just got round to reading it after having seen all three films.

What a wonderful book this is (if you can call a violent spy thriller "wonderful"). The twists and turns, the characterisation and the intricate plot are a joy if you are into this particular genre.

The suspense begins immediately - the hook being that you are wondering how long it is until Bourne finds out his identity (the central feature of the film of course). From there on the film and book diverge - whilst the movie is excellent, the different thrills in the book are infinitely more riveting.

It is by no means a perfect work but it is the one that created the legend and is the original and the best of the Bourne series.


The Bourne Ultimatum (Bourne 3)
The Bourne Ultimatum (Bourne 3)
by Robert Ludlum
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Bourne Free, 7 Mar 2012
Expect nothing from the film and you wont be disappointed.

Much like Bourne II, this book is perhaps a little bit too long-winded, some of the Jackal's escapes appear too easy or a tad lame, and then the ending seems just a little bit lame. That said, the suspense that is built up as the book progresses and some of teh characterisation is excellent.


The Bourne Supremacy (Bourne 2)
The Bourne Supremacy (Bourne 2)
by Robert Ludlum
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Bourne Again, 7 Mar 2012
The second book in the Bourne series finds our hero drawn to the far east in order to weed out an impostor posing as him.

The plot is seriously intricate, many scenes described in very fine detail. One or two of the plot twists are a bit too much to believe at times and it can feel like a bit of a war of attrition midway through the book, but it's good to stick with it because it is worth it in the end.

For me, the weakest of the Bourne trilogy but it remains a must-read.


The Ferris Conspiracy
The Ferris Conspiracy
by Reg McKay
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crime Might Pay..., 7 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Ferris Conspiracy (Paperback)
This book is a riveting read for anyone interested in the Glasgow underworld. It is interesting, entertaining, at times self-indulgent but at the same time balanced with some vague self-deprecation. The book was entirely what I expected and I wasn't disappointed with the content. It is obviously a very one-sided version of events and it helps to keep an open mind about this when reading. I would recommend the book to a friend if they were interested in this sort of thing, but it wouldn't appeal to everyone.


Clough The Autobiography
Clough The Autobiography
by Brian Clough
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 9.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not to be taken too seriously, 22 April 2010
This is Brian Clough, and you get exactly what you expect. The great football manager and precursor to the modern-day Mourinho (for those not old enough to recall Clough) calls it as he sees it, recounting tales from the glory days and the not so good days.

In an age where many footballing autobiographies appear to be moving away from depicting the good times and how brilliant the protagonists were (for good examples see Tony Cascarino, Mick Quinn), this book does not appear to have aged particularly well. Maybe I read it too late, maybe I'm no longer interested in sporting icons shouting about their success, or maybe it's just not a good book. I guess it's not a genre renouned for its literary marvels, but this one just didn't do it for me.


Helter Skelter - the True Story of the Manson Murders
Helter Skelter - the True Story of the Manson Murders
by Vincent Bugliosi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Authoritative Account, 22 April 2010
Bugliosi's account of the Manson trial is the definitive guide to what really occurred on thos fateful nights in 1969 when the Manson family rampaged and terrorised their victims.

Intriguing, highly descriptive and authoritative, Bugliosi captivates the reader recounting these terrifying tales, going into detail on the backgrounds of the members of the family, how they came to be brainwashed and speculating if they were mad or just plain bad.

I have read a few books on this matter and in my opinion, this is the best and most relevant.


Red Riding Nineteen Eighty (Red Riding Quartet)
Red Riding Nineteen Eighty (Red Riding Quartet)
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Hunted, 22 April 2010
Peter Hunter is the man called in from Greater Manchester Police to clean up the mess that is the West Yorkshire Police Force. The same mess as depicted within the dark pages of 1974 and 1977. At his almost every turn he faces obstruction and insubordination. He is very close to uncovering the truth, and the dark forces know it.

If Nineteen Seventy Seven left some readers bemused as what constitutes a force for good in the dark world of Peace, some will be left abjectly bewildered by the time they reach the conclusion of this novel. This is the finest novel of the quartet and the mysteries that are beginning to unravel lends the reader to imagine this dark world quite vividly. The prose pulls you in to Hunter's world and you will him on to reveal the truth.

Anyone disappointed by Nineteen Seventy Seven could be forgiven for not continuing with the series, but it would be a shame for them not to be treated to this, the finest book in the quartet.


Red Riding Nineteen Eighty Three (Red Riding Quartet)
Red Riding Nineteen Eighty Three (Red Riding Quartet)
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Jobson's Choice, 22 April 2010
A fitting conclusion to the dark series that is the Red Riding quarter. Looking from the perspective of police chief Maurice Jobson, solicitor John Piggott and rent-boy BJ Anderson, the mysteries of the previous three books are spectacularly unravelled in this novel.

Piggott's perspective is generally in the present, Jobson's story is primarily in the present but flits back to trace how he came to prominence as he is now, and BJ's story is generally a narrative from 1974 through to the present day. Putting these three strands together to reach a conclusion to the story is a marvellous achievement.

The corruption, cover-ups, vice and murderous sub-plots are all revealed, often with tragic results, sometimes sad but always befitting of this wonderful series.

I read the four books in little over two weeks and even though I hugely enjoyed them, a part of me was disappointed that the series was finished. As you would expect, Nineteen Eighy Three is where the story hits the heights, but in my opinion Nineteen Eighty is in the literary sense the finest individual piece of work in the series. But you can't read one without the other - (tongue firmly in cheek) a wonderful device the quartet, wouldn't you say?


GB84
GB84
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War of Attrition, 22 April 2010
This review is from: GB84 (Paperback)
Coming off the back of the Red Riding Quartet, I was intrigued to continue with more of Peace's work and the natural flow of things took me to GB84. This book is almost as dark as the others, surrounding the various elements of the security services and their apparent acts of subversiveness at a time of industrial upheaval. As with Peace's previous works, anti-heroes abound in the novel.

It would appear Peace has honed his writing talents, but quite possibly to the detriment of his skill to tell an intriguing story. Just like the background subject matter, the book is an attritional read, the twisting of the various plotlines quite fascinating to attempt to disentangle. The central focus, or even raison d'etre of the novel, is the machination of the NUM and its battle with the Thatcher government, and the alternate plot surrounds and feeds off it. However the sections containing the union focus have a narrative with a tendency to be dry and languid. The result is a novel that is probably 100 pages too long. The cumbersome narratives of the internal NUM workings affects the flow of the intriguing passages focussing on "The Mechanic", Neil Fontaine, Malcolm Morris, and how the pieces all fit together.

Despite all of this, I did manage to remain strangely hooked, completing the book in four or five sittings, therefore the story is still a good one, but some may find certain aspects of the narrative somewhat tiresome. Stick at it, and you might just enjoy it.


Nineteen Seventy Seven
Nineteen Seventy Seven
by David Peace
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Imagination, 1 April 2010
This review is from: Nineteen Seventy Seven (Paperback)
The second instalment of Peace's Red Riding Quartet, the central themes of dark violence, vice and corruption continue. This time it is from the perspective of two anti-heroes in Sgt Bob Fraser and journalist Bob Fraser. Be sure though that these are individuals who are quite disturbed in their own existences. There are a string of vaguely "copy-cat" murders that are being carried out within the context of those attributed to the Yorkshire Ripper. The West Yorkshire Police are determined to attach them to the Ripper, but Fraser and Whitehead, who have their own dark secrets to keep, begin to unravel what they feel are a series of cover-ups.

As a kind of continuation from 1974, you have to use your imagination at certain points to fill in the blanks such as what has happenned the intervening years), eventually it will all come together - but isn't the aim of a good story to get you to use your imagination in the first place? Certainly the sickening imagery of the heinous crimes of Peter Sutcliffe is shown in quite sickening detail here, but the book is obviously pulling at the range of dark emotions in the reader, and it is clear from the opening instalment of the quartet that these are indeed very dark stories.

Once again, these stories are not for light readers, nor are they for anyone who baulks at the dark, seedy horrors of the underworld.
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